Biggest ever nationwide initiative to restore nature in England launched

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The biggest initiative to restore nature ever in England has opened for business, as the Nature Recovery Network (NRN) Delivery Partnership, led by Natural England, was launched.

The Network brings together representatives from over 600 organisations to drive forward the restoration of protected sites and landscapes and help provide at least 500,000 hectares of new wildlife-rich habitat across England from doorstep to landscape, as set out in the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

Launching the Nature Recovery Network initiative, Natural England chair Tony Juniper commented: “We are firing the starting gun on England’s Nature Recovery Network, backed by the biggest ever collaboration between government, business and charities to drive forward the biggest programme for nature recovery in England’s history.

“The natural world upon which we all depend has for far too long been in decline, and now is the moment when we must change our approach, to move beyond preserving what little remains and to embark on restoration at scale.

“Achieving nature recovery is a complex task that can only be realised through partnerships.

“These are needed to bring together the people who manage land and sea, the different sources of investment and knowledge that we need to make progress, the variety of official policies we have, and to make the most of the passion of the many leaders who are ready to step up to deliver action on the ground.

“Our vision is for that network of organisations and people to create a network of places that will bring huge benefits for wildlife, landscapes and people.

“It is an ambitious idea, but the fact is that in different parts of the country it’s already happening, and we should take great encouragement from that.”

The Network partners, including the Council for Sustainable Business, Wildlife and Countryside Link, National Parks England, RSPB and the Country Land and Business Association, alongside Defra, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission, will be providing a wide range of support including funding and land to be restored.

The Nature Recovery Network seeks to:

  • Restore 75% of protected sites to favourable condition so nature can thrive.
  • Create or restore at least 500,000 additional hectares of wildlife-rich habitat outside of protected sites.
  • Recover threatened and iconic animal and plant species by providing more habitat and wildlife corridors to help species move in response to climate change.
  • Support the planting of 180,000 hectares of woodland.
  • Deliver a range of wider benefits, including carbon capture, flood management, clean water, pollination and recreation.
  • Bring nature much closer to people, boosting health and well-being.

Natural England is calling for even more organisations to be part of the initiative, with their current supporting organisations including Coca-Cola, Network Rail and Severn Trent Water.

Mark Bridgeman, President of the Country Land and Business Association, commented on the launch of the partnership: “As a partner of the Nature Recovery Network Partnership we recognise there is no time to lose.

“The public can see the impact of biodiversity loss and climate change with their own eyes, and quite rightly they expect us to act.

“As stewards of the countryside, landowners are uniquely placed to deliver meaningful programmes that will drive environmental recovery, and we are determined to play our part in meeting the challenges ahead.”

To express an interest in becoming a Nature Recovery Network Delivery Partner, contact Natural England’s Nature Recovery Network partnership team by email at [email protected]