Introduction to Nature Recovery Networks
The overarching ambition of DEFRA’s 25 Year Environment Plan is to ‘leave our environment in a better state than we found it and to pass on to the next generation a natural environment protected and enhanced for the future’. The plan highlights six key areas for action, one being to establish a Nature Recovery Network. This will protect and restore wildlife, as well as providing greater public enjoyment of the countryside; increased carbon capture; and improvements in water quality and flood management.
In the Environment Bill, government will introduce new duties to support better spatial planning for nature through the creation of Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs). The intention is that the whole of England will be covered by LNRSs. Each will include a statement of biodiversity priorities for the area covered by the strategy and a local habitat map that identifies opportunities for recovering or enhancing biodiversity.
The natural world is the foundation of our wellbeing and prosperity, and provides an irreplaceable stock of natural capital but nature has declined significantly in recent times and continues to decline. For nature to recover we have to look beyond currently protected sites and take action to extend and link our existing sites – both to support wildlife and to recover the range of economic and social benefits that nature provides. The aim should be to make existing patches of habitat bigger and better, increase the number of valuable habitat patches, improve connectivity, and restore natural processes.