EPIC Workshop - Local Nature Recovery Strategies: Planning for Successful Implementation

Wednesday, 13 March 2024 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

UK nature is in crisis. Last year, the State of Nature Report found that the UK was one of the most nature-depleted countries on the planet. Last month, the Office for Environmental Protection's Annual Progress Report found that the UK Government was only on track to meet 4 out of 40 of its environmental targets, with deteriorating trends dominating.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) are one of the Government's flagship policies to reverse these trends and ensure that local areas in England are protecting and creating appropriate natural habitats. 48 responsible authorities in England have been tasked with producing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for their area, which will identify priorities and include a local habitat map. These are currently being developed by responsible authorities, in partnership with local stakeholders, and are expected to be finished in early 2025. But has much thought been given to how they will be used, once they have been completed?

For LNRSs to have any impact, they need to play a key role in funding and planning decisions, as well as being used by local nature groups, businesses and other stakeholders. They will also need to be considered as a whole, and in relation to other key policies, to understand how they will contribute to England's environmental targets. Yet many of these mechanisms do not seem to be in place. How can we ensure that these strategies don't end up gathering dust on a virtual shelf, but enable the successful delivery of the Government's environmental goals?

This workshop will unpack some of these questions and consider solutions to this critical delivery challenge. We will learn from expert speakers (see below), before moving into break out discussions with participants. Discussions and points raised in the workshop will be used as a starting point for the production of guidance for EPIC members and other interested stakeholders.

This event has been organised by the Environmental Policy Implementation Community, a new community at the IES that brings members from across disciplines to focus on the challenge of policy implementation. Sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date on future activities and hear about ways to collaborate. 

This online event is free to attend and open to all. 

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Our speakers

Matthew LingSam Evans, Head of Natural Environment, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Sam is Head of Natural Environment at GMCA, leading the Combined Authority’s work to improve the city region’s natural environment through developing strategy and policy, delivering key projects and working with a range of partners.

Prior to that, Sam led the development of the Mayor’s 5 Year Environment Plan, launched in March 2019. Sam joined GMCA in October 2018 on secondment from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where most recently he was Head of Strategic Coordination. Before that, Sam held various roles in the civil service across several Departments.

Matthew LingMatt Browne, Head of Policy & Advocacy, Wildlife & Countryside Link

Matt oversees the policy and advocacy outputs of Link, England’s largest environmental coalition. During the passage of the Leveling Up & Regeneration Act, Matt led successful efforts to amend the legislation to give LNRSs greater weight in the planning system.