England's Local Nature Partnerships work at a strategic level to improve the range of benefits businesses and local communities receive from the environment. They are one of a number of important types of initiative around the UK that are working locally to connect the environment with issues such as health, wellbeing and prosperity.
Local Nature Partnerships are operational over the majority of the land area of England. Some cover county boundaries while others cover areas defined by their landscape character. They were established as a commitment in HM Government's 2011 Natural Environment White paper.
A map and contacts for the LNP's can be found on the HM Government's LNP webpage. LNPs are not funded centrally and rely on the organisations within their partnerships for skills and expertise. LNPs are co-ordinated by a range of organisations, including local authorities and Wildlife Trusts.
The Ecosystems Knowledge Network is a champion of the work of Local Nature Partnerships and has run workshops in partnership with them. The following are examples of the activities being undertaken by the partnerships:
Linking health and environment
- Many Local Nature Partnerships have working groups that are championing the role of the environment in supporting health outcomes. For example, provides more information). Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Nature Partnership has active dialogue with Cornwall's Health and Wellbeing Board.
- Local Nature Partnerships have also produced documentation that makes a case for the links between health, wellbeing and the quality of the environment. Northamptonshire Local Nature Partnership has published an assessment of the links between health and the local environment (see Natural Environmental Solutions for a Healthier Northamptonshire). Kent Nature Partnership has reviewed the health benefits of green space in Kent (see the Non-Technical Executive Summary). The Local Nature Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has been involved in producnig a Cornwall Nature on Referral Plan.
Communicating the value of the environment
- The West of England Nature Partnership has commissioned a set of Ecosystem Service Maps using a proprietary analytical tool called SENCE. These show a selection of environment assets across the region and the services they provide. The maps are likely to be used as a key piece of environmental evidence for a regional strategic planning document. For more on the West of England LNP go to their website.
- Tees Valley Nature Partnership have similarly produced Natural Networks Opportunity Maps with a view to informing future planning and development decisions. Follow this link to the Tees Valley LNP website.
- The North East Local Nature Partnership have produced a leaflet that communicates what their LNP does in an accessible way. To see the leaflet follow the link.
Shropshire are communicating the value of their environment through their Marches Ecosystem Assessment. They also have designed summaries for the business sector and health sector to further communicate ideas.
Making the case for investment in the environment
- A Natural Capital Investment Plan was published by Surrey Nature Partnership at the Natural Capital Investment Conference in March 2018. This sets out the broad actions required to achieve and maintain healthy natural assets in Surrey over the next 25 years.
- Dorset published a detailed Natural Capital Investment Strategy in March 2016. It is helping them encourage their Local Enterprise Partnership to take a 'natural capital approach' to project funding and delivery and network with a number of groups including a Sustainable Business Leaders Group.
Engaging the public and local organisations
- Humber Nature Partnership have developed a smartphone app that aims to encourage local people to understand the natural environment.
- Wild Anglia, East Anglia's LNP has engaged the public by creating debates and discussions that get people to think about their dependence on the environment information on upcoming speakers and dates can be found on the webpage.
- Nature Connected the LNP for the Liverpool city region are an example of the breadth of organisations that LNPs are involving. They have initiated working relationships with Atlantic Gateway; the NHS clinical commissioning group, two Local Enterprise Partnerships, Liverpool Vision, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, University of Liverpool and ARUP.
Working with local economic development initiatives
LNPs across England are seeking to work with Local Enterprise Partnerships, as well as individual businesses and the economic development functions of local authorities. LNPs that have developed working relationships with the LEPs include: Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership (with a LEP member on its Board) and Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin LNP.
The LEED Toolkit (hosted by EKN) was produced by Natural England to help Local Enterprise Partnerships to understand the importance of the natural environment in their plans. This has been used by LNPs in their engagement with LEPs, including Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin.
List of Local Nature Partnerships