In the first of its kind, an England-wide initiative to be launched tomorrow (5 November) will recover nature across the length and breadth of the country, and help everybody access and enjoy it.
The Nature Recovery Network (NRN) Delivery Partnership, led by Natural England, will bring 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. The Network will link together our very best nature-rich places, restore landscapes in towns and the countryside and create new habitats for everybody to enjoy. It is the biggest initiative to restore nature ever to be launched in England.
The 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. Today Natural England is calling for even more organisations to be part of the initiative, organisations already giving their support include Coca-Cola, Network Rail and Severn Trent Water.
As well as making sure our existing protected sites are in the best possible condition, the Nature Recovery Network programme will recover threatened animal and plant species and create and connect new green and blue spaces such as wetlands, ponds, meadows, woodlands, and peatlands. It will engage conservation rangers and environmentally focused community-based projects and put lost features like hedgerows and trees back into our landscapes. These restored habitats will help address climate change through capturing carbon, while improving the quality of our air, water, and soil, and provide natural flood protection. They will also provide us all with places to enjoy and connect with nature and help to improve our health and wellbeing.
The Nature Recovery Network will:
- 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 our 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, where they live, work, and play, boosting health and wellbeing.
As part of the Nature Recovery Network, the government is exploring the creation of large scale nature recovery areas to significantly expand wildlife habitat and deliver wide ranging benefits.