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About Local Nature Recovery Strategies

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs) are a crucial element of the UK government’s commitments to turn the tide on species loss in England. If they are properly informed and implemented, they could deliver huge gains for biodiversity and serve to reconnect communities with nature recovery. 

The intention is that each of the 48 LNRS regions (broadly following county lines) will produce a locally owned and informed action plan to;
a) spotlight and map high priority areas for biodiversity where nature can be conserved, restored, and connected and
b) establish a sense of local ownership and responsibility for wildlife.

As these strategies are going to target a lot of future conservation work in England it’s absolutely vital that we get them right, and make sure they deliver the wide range of environmental benefits that we urgently need.  

Plantlife are using this opportunity to advocate the indispensable role that wild plants and fungi play in ecosystem function, and to help responsible authorities design and deliver LNRSs with species protection at their hearts. 

Our recommendations

1. Including specialist data on habitats and species to produce a really well-informed knowledge base of local biodiversity.

Having this knowledge base early on will produce the most reliable map of opportunities for biodiversity protection and enhancement going forwards.

2. Implementing measures to boost species diversity and prevent the further loss of species.

Increasing the structural diversity of a habitat will create more niches for different species to occupy, and it’s important that bespoke plans for priority species present are always included within habitat management. This will prevent extinctions, while improving the condition of the overall habitat. 

3. Recognising our grasslands for the powerful nature-based solutions that they are.

Species-rich grasslands are some of our most reliable habitats for carbon storage and wildlife support, but they are being lost at an alarming rate.

Designing LNRSs which protect and restore species rich grasslands will support whole communities of wildlife and create stable, long-term sub-soil carbon stores.

4. Promoting a diversity of management approaches across our treescape to reflect the unique requirements of each woodland type.

Woods and trees need to be managed to sustain the breadth of species they can support, this means diversifying our woods in terms of tree species and age, creating open spaces and transitional habitats, and preserving ancient trees for lichen and bryophyte diversity.

5. Always working to the principle of ‘Right Tree, Right Place, Right Management’ when designing tree planting schemes.

Increasing tree cover cannot come at the cost of our existing priority wildlife and carbon stores.

6. Mitigating the damaging impacts of air pollution, through nature-based solutions and emission reduction measures.

Air pollution is a serious issue nationally, and it threatens wildlife as well as human health. LNRS provide an opportunity to tackle this threat both by mapping sources of emissions and areas of high deposition and implementing measures to mitigate the impacts of pollution.

7. Improving the condition and extent of green infrastructure networks.

Well-designed and protected urban green space such as road verges and amenity grasslands connect urban habitats with the wider countryside.

This reverses habitat fragmentation, locks away carbon, supports biodiversity, reduces pollution, tackles heat extremes, minimises flooding and improves health and wellbeing.

8. Taking steps to improve local ecosystem health and climate resilience.

Many of the  threats our species and habitats are currently facing are projected to worsen with rising global temperatures, but by leveraging the power of local each LNRSs can make a difference at a small scale which, scaled up across England, can improve our overall resilience. 

What you can do

Our work

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