Local Nature Recovery Strategy

Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a new way of prioritising nature needs on a more local and focused level. Northumberland was one of the local authorities who took part in the pilot to help develop the approach nationally. Find out more here.

Learn more about the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) and how it affects Northumberland.

What is a Local Nature Recovery Strategy?

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) are a new way of prioritising nature needs on a more local and focused level. They will help agree targets and aims for increasing biodiversity by mapping current levels of nature and then highlight areas for improvement. A key feature of an LNRS is that it will identify both areas that could become of particular importance for biodiversity and areas where the recovery or enhancement of biodiversity could help address other environmental problems.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) ran five pilots in autumn and winter 2020-2021 in collaboration with Natural England and local partner organisations.  The aim was to test how Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs) could be created. Northumberland was one of the five pilots.  

Read more on DEFRA's website about the main findings and lessons learned from the pilots.

DEFRA consulted on the process and the content for 'real' LNRSs across England, which we expect will start from April 2022.  The consultation was open until 2nd November 2021.  The LNRS is part of the Environment Bill, which became the Environment Act in November 2021.

Being involved at the initial pilot stage gave Northumberland a unique opportunity to work with partners, to develop this process and shape a local, landscape scale approach to developing LNRSs.  It was more about testing the process rather than producing an early LNRS. 

Some examples of environmental issues where LNRSs and nature-based solutions could play a role are:
  • Climate change mitigation through tree planting and peat restoration
  • Natural flood management and improved water quality
  • Improving/saving local species and nature reserves
  • Biodiversity net gain
  • Links to the new stewardship system for farming
If you have any questions about the LNRS in Northumberland, please email us at; LNRS@northumberland.gov.uk.

Meanwhile if you would like to explore maps of environmental designations in the county then take a look at our map library or our interactive maps.
A glossary for definitions of some technical words/phrases that are used throughout.

Nature Recovery Network (NRN) - a single, national network which will benefit people and wildlife by increasing, improving and joining-up wildlife-rich places across England, stretching from our cities to countryside, mountains to coast. At its core will be enhanced sites designated for nature conservation and other existing wildlife-rich places. Additional, newly created or restored nature-rich habitat, corridors and stepping stones will help wildlife populations grow and move. It will improve landscape resilience to climate change, provide natural solutions that reduce carbon and manage flood risk, and sustain vital ecosystems such as improved soil, clean water and clean air. It will reinforce the natural and cultural diversity of our landscapes, help to protect their historic environments, and enable us to enjoy and connect with nature where we live, work and play - benefiting our health and wellbeing.

Environment Bill -  A Bill to make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; for statements and reports about environmental protection; for the Office for Environmental Protection; about waste and resource efficiency; about air quality; for the recall of products that fail to meet environmental standards; about water; about nature and biodiversity; for conservation covenants; about the regulation of chemicals; and for connected purposes.  It is expected to have its final reading in parliament in November 2021.  

Ramsar Sites - Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance that have been designated under the criteria of the Ramsar convention on wetlands for containing representative, rare or unique wetland types or for their importance in conserving biological diversity.  Find out more here

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - is a formal conservation designation. Usually, it describes an area that’s of particular interest to science due to the rare species of fauna or flora it contains - or even important geological or physiological features that may lie in its boundaries.

SSSIs often contain important habitats such as grasslands, parkland and woodland. Some even contain ancient woodland and ancient trees. In other words, these areas have high conservation value, and need to be protected.  The locations of these protected areas as well as others can be seen on Defra's MAGiC map.  

Climate change mitigation - refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases. Mitigation can mean using new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behaviour.

Peat Restoration - Peatlands are considered degraded when they’ve been drained or subject to altered water flow. In a degraded state, the carbon stored in the peat is released into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Peat soils can be restored by re-wetting or restoring the natural flow of water and soil saturation.  Sphagnum moss is the key to peat formation.  

Nature based solutions – Nature-based solutions (NBS) are defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘actions to protect, sustainably manage, improve and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits’.