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We’re using the introduction of Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) to advocate for wild plants and fungi and their protection.
Plantlife has played an active role in making sure that wild plants and fungi are included in a new Government initiative designed to turn the tide on species loss.
Together with Wildlife and Countryside Link and other non-governmental organisations, we have successfully advocated for a species-inclusion framework to be incorporated into Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS). We have also been developing our own guidance to make sure the plans bring maximum benefits to plants and fungi.
The UK Government announced the launch of LNRSs as part of the Environment Act 2021. They are designed to help nature recover and deliver significant gains for biodiversity.
LNRSs will be developed for 48 regions across the UK, which generally follow county lines. They will agree priorities for nature recovery and propose actions which will have the largest positive impact on the environment.
Work in each region will be led by a local council, known as a “responsible authority”. It will liaise with partners and landowners who understand the area to agree what should be included. An action plan will then be drawn up to inform future conservation work and drive targeted, coordinated and collaborative action. This will also aim to enthuse local communities and inspire them to contribute to conservation while reconnecting with nature.
Plantlife recognises that these strategies have the potential to deliver huge benefits for nature. It is therefore essential to get them right.
We have used their introduction as an opportunity to advocate for wild plants and fungi and raise awareness of the indispensable role they play in the way our ecosystems function. As a result, our input is supporting responsible authorities to design and deliver strategies with species protection at their heart.
Alongside partners, we have also successfully advocated for a species-inclusion framework to be provided to each responsible authority. Put together by Natural England, this guidance shows how it can make sure that species across a range of taxa are meaningfully incorporated into its LNRS.
We are also poised to launch our own expert LNRS guidance. This will support responsible authorities to design plans which benefit these vital elements of our ecosystem with the aim of delivering huge gains for biodiversity.
The next steps of this exciting project will see us explore how to engage directly with our priority LNRS regions so that we can maintain a high-profile as the strategies are further developed. By doing so, we hope we can help make sure they deliver the wide range of environmental benefits we so urgently need.
Dr Vernon HeywoodUniversity of Reading (2017)
We’re working in partnership to tackle the threats which nitrogen pollution and peat sales pose to wild plants and fungi.
Our exciting plans for Natur am Byth, Wales’ flagship green recovery project, were fully developed during 2022/23, paving the way for the initiative to begin in earnest in summer 2023.
Our 4-year Building Resilience project came to an end in January 2023 after successfully shining a light on the south west’s temperate rainforest and the lichen, moss and liverwort communities it supports.