Birmingham and Black Country Local Nature Partnership

  • Freshwater Invertebrate Network, Woodgate Valley © Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust
    Freshwater Invertebrate Network, Woodgate Valley © Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust
  • Castle Vale Meadows, before and after © Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust
    Castle Vale Meadows, before and after © Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust
  • Shared Strategy for Birmingham & Black Country Ecological Network © Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust
    Shared Strategy for Birmingham & Black Country Ecological Network © Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust
Case Study Information
Description: 
The Birmingham and Black Country Local Nature Partnership (BBCLNP) coordinates different projects and people to champion the role of the natural environment.
Location: 
West Midlands
Stage: 
Ongoing
Scale: 
Regional
Habitat types (UK NEA habitats): 
Mountains, moors and heaths
Semi-natural grasslands
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Urban
Landscape context: 

The BBCLNP covers approximatley 60,000ha rich with interesting geology and heritage. It is home to many environmental assets including: Special Areas of Conservation; National Nature Reserves; multiple SSSIs, green open spaces, local nature reserves and wildlife sites. The LNP also has the same boundary as the Nature Improvement Area (NIA).

Partners, organisations and stakeholders involved: 
  • Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust
  • Local authority
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
  • Nature Improvement Areas (NIA)
  • Birmingham and Black Country biodiversity and geodiversity partnership
Aims of the project/initiative: 

Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) were established in 2012 under the 2011 White Paper for England.  LNPs are umbrella organisations that coordinate different projects and actors to strategically improve the range of benefits we get from the environment.

The vision of the BBCLNP is, "To represent and champion the essential role of the natural environment in achieving a vibrant, healthy and prosperous Birmingham and Black Country to the benefit of economy and society."

The BBCLNP strives to achieve it's vision by linking people, place, partnership and business. It aims to be a driver for positive change by championing the natural environment and the benefits obtained from ecosystem services.  The LNP also aims to improve understanding of the vital role the natural environment plays in economic growth.  To do this it works closely with a range of stakeholders and organisations, establishing meaningful partnerships.  A main aim of the LNP is to create equitable access to green and blue networks in the region, with everyone having access to greenspace (ideally natural) within five minutes of their home and work place.

Progress so far: 
  • Produced an Annual report
  • BBCLNP held a successful event showcasing the work of the LNP, in June 2016
  • Produced an Action Plan for 2015-16
  • The LNP has worked closley with the Nature Improvement Area (NIA) which is being particularly successful in improving habitats and engaging sectors of society 
  • Produced a Health and Wellbeing report, and facilitated dialogue between sectors to bring people together
  • Are supporting the Black Country's application for European Geopark status submitted to UNESCO
  • Produced a State of Environment dashboard which allows the LNP to monitor the state of the environment. This informs decisions about how the current state may be positivley changed.
How does the Project reflect the ecosystem approach?
Applying the ecosystem approach principles: 

The Natural Environment White Paper (2011) from which the LNPs were established suggested that LNPs would promote the ecosystem approach. To learn more about the ecosystem approach see EKN's interpretation of the principles.

People
Principle #1: benefits from nature are important for all of society: 

The BBCLNP is putting effort into equal access to natural greenspace this in turn allowing the population for BBC to be more likely to gain equal benefits from it. In particular the NIA BBCLNP encourages community engagement through a range of different projects aimed at different local people.

Principle #11: all knowledge and perspectives should be valued: 

The LNP captures the various values and perspectives of different groups of people networking, partnering and communicating with a range of stakeholders and organisations.  The LNP creates dialogue between groups that are interested in topics such as local communities, health and well-being, conservation and business. 

Principle #12: involve more of society in decisions: 

The people that run and are involved with the LNP have expertise and specific knowledge.  This enables the LNP to sustain itself economically, as well as connect to the relevant people and understand the complexities of ecology.

Management
Principle #2 local is best: 

The LNP works at the regional scale and connects with local projects, and as such those that are involved with the LNP are local to the area.  This enables increased effeciency and equal decision-making.

Principle #3 think of others: 

At the site scale, projects within the LNP area, such as those run by the NIA, have positive impacts on communities and the quality of the environment both within and beyond the geographical boundary of the LNP.

Principle #4 understand economic context: 

The BBCLNP is planning to prepare a Nature Investment Strategy in the coming year.  This will enable the value of the environment to be more easily communicated in economic terms. The LNP also works closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership and aims to engage small businesses.

Scale and dynamics
Principle #7 work at the right scale: 

The LNP shares the same boundary as the NIA which is at a landscape scale.

Principle #8 look well ahead: 

The improvement of blue and green networks and sites in the region is creating more stability and sustainability.  An aim of the LNP is to influence policy and decision-making in order to ensure sustainable benefits from ecosystem services into the future.

Principle #9 be adaptable to change: 

A central aim of the LNP is to influence decision-making to increase resilience and adaption to climate change.

Functions, goods and services
Principle #5 maintain the health of nature: 

The LNP is maintaining the health of nature through conservation work of the NIA, which works on improving the health of sites across the Birmingham and Black Country region. See more on specific sites.

Principle #10 balance the demand for use and conservation of the environment: 

By creating and improving natural space for people and highlighting how nature can be used by people, the LNP aims to show that the better quality the environment, the greater the benefits for people.

Further information
Contact name 

Chris Parry

Role in project: 
Local Nature Partnership Co-ordination
Location map: