We are currently working on a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) for Somerset to provide a single vision for nature recovery and set out our local priorities and opportunities for nature.
Anyone can have a part to play in shaping this strategy and we very much encourage you to get involved.
Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change, Councillor Dixie Darch, recently spoke to Steve Haigh at Radio Ninesprings. She inspired listeners to get involved with developing Somerset’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy and reminded us how we can all get closer and more in tune with nature. Listen in and find out more in the recording below:
Read more about the strategy below.
Local Nature Recovery Strategy survey
We would like to hear your views.
For regular progress updates sign up to Somerset Environmental and Ecological News or follow Somerset Council on social media.
Why do we need a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS)?
Somerset has some of the most spectacular habitats and wildlife in the UK, but our natural environment faces urgent and significant challenges. The recently published Somerset State of Nature Report demonstrates that we need to do much more to reverse the decline in nature and help Somerset’s wildlife to thrive.
Nature has its own value, and we have a responsibility to protect it. A healthy natural environment is also key to our own health and wellbeing. It is the foundation of a productive economy and provides us with food, water, carbon storage, flood control, attractive neighbourhoods, and great recreational and business opportunities.
The UK government has made ambitious pledges to protect at least 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030 – the ‘30 x 30’ target – and we need to play our part in achieving this. All counties in England are required by law to develop a strategy to help nature’s recovery.
The Somerset Local Nature Recovery Strategy will provide a framework for targeted, co-ordinated and collaborative action.
What will be included in Somerset’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy?
The Somerset Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) will provide a single vision for nature recovery and the use of nature-based solutions.
- Map the locations of our most precious habitats and wildlife.
- Identify the locations most suitable for nature restoration, and the places where the recovery or enhancement of biodiversity could make a particular contribution to other environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration, flood regulation, and access to nature-rich spaces for health and wellbeing.
- Set out local priorities and actions for restoring and creating habitats.
- Build and strengthen local partnerships that will be important for implementing the strategy.
How will Somerset's LNRS be used?
Developers and planning authorities
Somerset Local Nature Recovery Strategy will be used as a long-term decision-making tool to help guide mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain and other planning tools such as Green Infrastructure.
Farmers and land managers
The Somerset LNRS will be used to inform applications for funding from Environmental Land Management Schemes supporting Somerset’s agricultural sector. It will also help steer opportunities for nature-based solutions such as flood risk management and sequestering carbon through new trees, woodlands and healthier soils.
Somerset residents and communities
We are involving local communities in the development and implementation of the Somerset Local Nature Recovery Strategy, to foster a sense of local ownership, responsibility, and appreciation for biodiversity.
Businesses and the local economy
Somerset’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy will play an important role in bringing green investment into the county from national and international funding sources. It will also help create local opportunities for Somerset businesses to achieve their environment and social governance (ESG) objectives.
Who is responsible for Somerset’s LNRS?
Each region has its own unique environment and faces different environmental challenges. Defra is funding this work and has appointed local authorities throughout England to create Local Nature Recovery Strategies.
The LNRS in this region is being led by Somerset Council and we have chosen to do this collaboration with the Somerset Local Nature Partnership.
We are taking a collaborative approach and involving a wide range of people and organisations in the development of the strategy, including landowners and managers, government organisations, environmental charities, businesses, local groups and communities.
Geographically, the Somerset LNRS will cover the Somerset Council authority area. The other areas of Somerset (North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset) will be included within the West of England Local Nature Recovery Strategy.
When will the Somerset LNRS be produced?
We are currently in the process of gathering information and feedback with a view to drawing up a draft strategy in the summer of 2024. Consultation on this draft document will then take place, with a view to publishing the completed Somerset Local Nature Recovery Strategy in late autumn 2024.
Get involved – Help shape Somerset’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy
We want to encourage the people of Somerset to get involved with shaping this strategy: landowners and managers, farmers, developers and planners, community groups and, of course, you!
We are organising events, workshops and activities to involve people in the development of the Somerset LNRS .
We have launched a public survey to hear your views – so please do feel free take part.
For regular updates on the progress of Somerset’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy and to hear about the latest activities: Sign up to Somerset Environmental and Ecological News
You can also get updates via Somerset Council’s social media – see links in the footer below.