Cambridgeshire one of the most nature-depleted counties in England, is making substantial progress in its commitment to ‘Doubling Nature’ through the development of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS).
With an ambitious economic growth agenda, the strategy aims to place nature at the forefront, addressing the existing deficit of rich wildlife areas across the region and national biodiversity decline.
A Local Nature Recovery Strategy plays a pivotal role in delivering this ambitious goal, ensuring that nature becomes more extensive, better, and more connected. This initiative kickstarts the recovery of nature, contributing to the well-being and prosperity of the community.
It aims to enhance public access to the countryside as well as contributing to improving air and water quality, mitigating flood risk, storing carbon and making our county a more attractive place in which to live, to work and to visit. The strategy aligns with the Environment Act 2021, focusing on setting priorities for nature recovery in the country.
Key components of the LNRS include a Statement of Biodiversity Priorities and a Local Habitat Map, providing a comprehensive overview of biodiversity, opportunities for recovery, and important areas for nature. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA), has delegated the responsibility to Cambridgeshire County Council, in collaboration with Natural Cambridgeshire as a key partner.
Since January 2023, the Steering Group has diligently worked on establishing project management principles, creating a robust governance structure, engaging key stakeholders, and understanding baseline data crucial for the LNRS. Notably, in October 2023, contracts were awarded to key players:
The LNRS will guide investments in nature recovery, influencing planning and development, environmental incentives, nature-based solutions, and overall funding for specific activities identified in the strategy.
Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said “Reaching this key milestone reinforces our determination to put nature at the heart of our community and economic growth ambitions. Together with Natural Capital Solutions, Land Use Consultants, and our invaluable partner Natural Cambridgeshire, we are laying the foundations for a greener, more resilient Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”
Martin Doel, Chair of Natural Cambridgeshire said: “This is an important milestone in developing and then implementing a local nature recovery strategy which will move us closer to the shared objective of doubling nature in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. We look forward to working with all of our partners and most particularly the Combined Authority to deliver this vital goal.”
Councillor Lorna Dupre, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Environment and Green Investment Committee said: “We’re committed to creating a greener Cambridgeshire for everyone. Through our work, the Local Nature Recovery Strategy will help to prioritise our environment and all the benefits our landscape offers us. Drawing on local knowledge – and the expertise of Natural Capital Solutions, Land Use Consultants and Natural Cambridgeshire – we’ll be creating more publicly accessible information about Cambridgeshire’s natural environment, identifying locations for improvement as well as formally recognising the importance of nature – and nature-recovery – within our communities.”