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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Nature Recovery Strategy

The river in Fenland, Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire is one of the most nature depleted counties across England. With an ambitious economic growth agenda there is a requirement for putting nature at the heart. The area has already adopted a ‘Doubling Nature’ ambition. This responds to the existing deficit of rich wildlife areas across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and the national biodiversity decline.

A Local Nature Recovery Strategy can help deliver this ambition.

It will help us to respond to the local and national biodiversity decline, by using Lawton Principles that ‘nature is bigger, better and more joined up’. By supporting the recovery of nature, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can become a world-class environment where nature can thrive.

What is a ‘Local Nature Recovery Strategy’?

The Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) is a key component of the Environment Act 2021. The aim is to set priorities for nature recovery in the country. The LNRS will include as a minimum the following:

Statement of Biodiversity Priorities

  • A description of biodiversity for the strategy area.
  • Opportunities for recovering or enhancing biodiversity in the strategy area.
  • Prioritise areas and species for recovering or enhancing biodiversity in the strategy area.
  • Identify priorities for recovery or enhancing biodiversity in the strategy area.

Local Habitat Map - to identify

  • National conservation sites in the strategy area.
  • Nature reserves in the strategy area.
  • Other areas that are important for biodiversity and nature recovery.
  • Areas where biodiversity could contribute to other environmental benefits.

These spatial strategies will be developed by a ‘Responsible Authority’ (RA) as set out by DEFRA. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) is the RA for the county. The CPCA has contracted the responsibility to Cambridgeshire County Council to develop the LNRS. This is in collaboration with Natural Cambridgeshire (Local Nature Partnership) as a key partner.

Progress so far…

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LNRS will be developed as an evidence based, locally led and collaborative approach.

Between January and October 2023, the Steering Group have been working on the following:

  • Establishing project management principles.
  • Creating a strong governance structure, timelines, and framework to deliver the LNRS.
  • Starting early on engagement with key stakeholders.
  • Understanding baseline data to assist the delivery of LNRS.

In October 2023 the following contracts have been awarded. The development of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy is very much underway.

  • Natural Capital Solutions to provide expert GIS support and assist in the delivery of data and evidence workstream.
  • Land Use Consultants to provide authorship role and to write the final strategy.
  • Natural Cambridgeshire to support delivery of the stakeholder engagement and communication workstream.

All contractors will work alongside the LNRS Production Team. This is co-ordinated by the LNRS Officer and be given direction by the LNRS Steering group. To understand the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LNRS process, please see the following links.

How will the strategy help recover nature?

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LNRS will help prioritise where and how to invest in nature. Becoming a critical plan to guide:

  • Planning and Development: integration of local nature recovery strategies into the planning system, so that areas of greatest potential for nature recovery can be better reflected in planning decisions.
  • Environmental Incentives: help shape the roll out of new Environmental Land Management Schemes, Biodiversity net gain, etc.
  • Nature-based solutions: strengthen local ambitions for nature-based solutions to wider environmental issues (Climate Change, flood risk, etc).
  • Investment: funding for specific activities that are identified in the LNRS.

How to get involved?