Natural England launches Nature Recovery Network partnership

Shropshire landscape looking from Clun

The Nature Recovery Network (NRN) is a Defra initiative with strong input from Natural England. It was first committed to in the 25 Year Environment Plan.

The main aim of the network is to recover nature across England through strong local and national partnerships and new funding streams. The principle of the network is built on the Lawton principle of bigger, better and more joined up habitat. Natural England have launched a partnership, bringing government, conservationists, businesses, farmers and landowners together to drive forward the delivery of an England-wide network for nature. The NFU have joined this partnership to feed into the cruical conversations and ensure farmers voices are heard.

Defra describes the NRN as:

“an expanded, improved and better-connected set of wildlife-rich places across England that will recover our wildlife, and benefit our people”

The NRN will provide opportunities for farmers to deliver for an array of environmental outcomes and will encourage funding opportunities for delivering such projects. The NRN interacts with various components of the Environment Bill, including Conservation Covenants and Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs).

Defra propose the NRN will be delivered through three key platforms that will be developed:

  • Spatial tools will be developed to support the development the NRN nationally and locally, including Local Nature Recovery Strategies.
  • Strong partnerships of government, farmers, land managers and conservation groups to deliver action on the ground, supported by a national Nature Recovery Network partnership.
  • Integration of the NRN’s goals and design principles into key funding streams: Environmental Land Management, Biodiversity Net Gain and grants for tree planting or peatland restoration.

 Read more about the NRN partnership here.

Read more on.gov.uk.

What does the NRN means for farming?

Farmers will be crucial to delivering the NRN and many other objectives outlined in the 25-year Environment Plan. Future funding streams such as the Environmental Land Management scheme(ELMs) and Biodiversity Net Gain will provide financial incentives to deliver against the NRN. The network will be built on both strong local and national partnerships. The NFU stress that at a local level, farmers must be consulted on any mapping or targeting framework to ensure their expertise are used to feed into the development process.

It is unclear how the NRN will influence the targeting of future support e.g. through ELMs. The NFU is lobbying for a framework that offers flexibilities around which environmental outcomes farmers are able to deliver against.

The NFU has joined the NRN partnership, launched by Natural England and is keen to be involved as this concept develops into practical action on the ground.

The NFU will be feeding into the NRN partnership to encourage a framework that works for both farmers and the environment, equipping the agricultural industry with the tools to make informed decisions themselves

Phil Jarvis, NFU Environment Forum Chairman

NFU environment forum chair Phil Jarvis said:

‘The NFU’s ambition is for British farmers to be global leaders in climate friendly food production, alongside their role maintaining and improving our environment. We look forward to working with the Nature Recovery Network partnership on how this dual role can help achieve the partnerships aims.’

NFU members can read more on the Nature Recovery Network in this briefing.

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