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Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs)

This online resource paper provides information about LNRSs, which are new spatial strategies for nature intended to cover the whole of England and to drive more coordinated, practical and focussed action to help nature

Definition and Purpose

Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a new system of spatial strategies for nature, which will cover the whole of England. They will establish priorities and map proposals for specific actions to drive nature’s recovery and provide wider environmental benefits. The Environment Act 2021 (see the Environment Act 2021 resource paper) addresses Local Nature Recovery Strategies in Part 6: Nature and Biodiversity (clauses 104 to 108). LNRS are designed as tools to drive more coordinated, practical and focussed action to help nature.

Each Strategy will, for the area that it covers:

  • Agree priorities for nature’s recovery;
  • Map the most valuable existing areas for nature;
  • Map specific proposals for creating or improving habitat for nature and wider environmental goals.

Key points to consider

  • The production of each LNRS will be evidence-based, locally led and collaborative, to create a network of shared plans that public, private and voluntary sectors can all help to deliver;
  • The Government anticipates that there will be roughly 50 Local Nature Recovery Strategies which together will cover the whole of England with no gaps and no overlaps;
  • It is anticipated that in many cases there will be one Local Nature Recovery Strategy per county (or equivalent) but individual geographies will be set according to an assessment of local circumstances;
  • Each Local Nature Recovery Strategy will map specific opportunities for taking priority action for nature recovery and the use of “nature-based solutions” to wider environmental problems like flooding, climate change mitigation and adaptation or poor water quality.
  • The Government’s overall ambition is that Local Nature Recovery Strategies will become the new focal point for a broad range of land use and management activity, and in so doing deliver a step-change in the effectiveness of the action we are taking for nature’s recovery and associated environmental improvement;
  • The aim of LNRSs is to bring together planners, Local Nature Partnerships, farmers, protected areas, the public, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs) and more to establish a locally led collaborative process.

What this means for spatial planning and development management

The creation of Local Nature Recovery Strategies was announced in the government’s response to the 2019 public consultation on biodiversity net gain, which revealed strong support for maps to guide the provision of compensatory habitat. The Environment Act 2021, in addition to establishing Local Nature Recovery Strategies, makes delivering biodiversity net gain a mandatory part of the development process. BNG will become mandatory once it is set out in the Town & Country Planning Regulations, which is currently anticipated to be Winter 2023. Please refer to the resource paper for the Environment Act 2021. Although BNG has yet to become a national mandatory requirement, Craven District Council recommends use of the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 now, in order to achieve compliance with Craven Local Plan policy ENV4: Biodiversity, which already requires BNG wherever possible – please refer to this policy’s wording for more information.

Off-site habitat enhancement will be required when a development is not able to accommodate the required increase in biodiversity on the development site itself.

The Biodiversity Metric 3.0 (see the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 resource paper) includes a 15% uplift in units generated in locations proposed by the Local Nature Recovery Strategy to encourage developers to focus on these places where the benefit will be greatest.

LNRSs are also intended to support the delivery of wider environmental objectives. “Nature based solutions” refers to the use of nature and natural processes to address wider environmental or societal problems. Examples include restoring peatlands to slow the flow of water into river systems to reduce the risk of flooding, or planting trees near rivers to limit soil erosion that impacts on water quality.

In August 2021, a consultation was launched regarding Local Nature Recovery Strategies, primarily aimed at local authorities but also of interest to developers and indeed anyone owning or managing land under a LNRS, which will eventually cover the whole of England. LNRS is another area where, although early progress is being made, much of the detail impacting businesses remains to be determined at a later date, when the delineations have been made by the Secretary of State and the local authorities or other bodies have published their draft strategies.

At the time of writing, it is not yet known what authority will be responsible for preparing a LNRS for the Craven local plan area. This information can be added in an updated version of this resource paper when it becomes available. The LNRS for each designated area in England will be required once the Environment Act comes into force.

Local Nature Recovery is the improved and more ambitious successor to the Countryside Stewardship scheme in England. It will pay for locally-targeted actions to make space for nature in the farmed landscape and the wider countryside, alongside food production. This could include, for example:

  • managing and creating habitats;
  • adding trees to fields or hedgerows; or
  • restoring peat or wetland areas in appropriate areas of their farm.

Relevant Craven Local Plan policies

Relevant Craven Local Plan policy guidance

March 2022. This webpage provides general information about relevant planning topics and we hope you find it helpful. Please be aware that it is not a statement of Council policy and does not provide formal policy guidance. For those things, please refer to the Craven Local Plan and supplementary planning documents.