Northumberland secures £140,000 for pilot scheme to help protect nature

Northumberland has been selected as part of a Government pilot scheme to help protect nature as part of the UK’s green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday, 16th August 2020, 6:00 am

The county council will receive £140,000 over the next six months as part of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) pilot.

In partnership with Natural England, it will develop a set of maps which show the most valuable existing sites and habitats for wildlife, use these maps to identify opportunities for recovering nature, for wildlife, for people and as a contribution to tackling climate change and improving the environment, and bring a broad range of groups of people together to identify and agree priorities for restoring nature.

The council will work alongside Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission, and preliminary discussions with Northumberland National Park, Northumberland National Park AONB and North Pennines AONB have also confirmed their commitment to this approach.

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A peatland restoration site at Steng Moss, near Elsdon.

Cllr Peter Jackson, council leader, said: “We welcome the recent announcement from the Environment Secretary that Northumberland is one of five pilot areas nominated to inform the development of local nature recovery strategies.

"This provides us with an excellent opportunity to develop a local partnership approach to further integrate nature into our incentives and land management actions, on which the Nature Recovery Network will be built.

“At the heart of this agenda is a recognition that, as we leave the EU, we have a once-in-a-generation chance to change our approach to managing our land so that we secure and enhance the benefits of the environment far into the future.”

The piloting of LNRS will help to consolidate environmental priorities in Northumberland, supporting the effective delivery of biodiversity net gain, conservation and enhancement.

The resulting spatial strategy will inform local policy and decision making and underpin the delivery of sustainable land use change which is complementary to initiatives such as the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and the Great Northumberland Forest.

Stephanie Bird-Halton, Natural England area manager, said: “Being chosen as one of the pilots for the Local Nature Recovery Strategies is a fantastic opportunity for Northumberland to continue to develop a thriving natural environment for the benefit of wildlife, residents, businesses and visitors.”

The pilots will run until March 2021.

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