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Planning for a Nature-Friendly Future at the Devon Local Nature Partnership Conference


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July 5, 2023

The 2023 Devon Local Nature Partnership (LNP) Conference centred around identifying priorities and actions for the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS).

With around 200 attendees, the LNP conference was a wonderful opportunity for those working across the spectrum of environmental organisations in Devon to connect, collaborate and develop ideas.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a new approach to setting priorities for nature at a local level in England. One LNRS will cover the whole of Devon (including Torbay and Plymouth). It will include the statutory requirements of: a description of the area and its wildlife; opportunities; priorities for restoring wildlife; actions needed to achieve wildlife priorities & other socio/economic priorities; and a map showing areas of existing importance for wildlife and areas where we want to focus action.

Devon County Council is the Responsible Authority for developing the LNRS along with supporting authorities and other interested stakeholders. Once the LNRS is created it will provide local planning authorities and developers with information to enhance planning systems, guide public & private investment, and support communities and businesses in protecting and enhancing Devon’s land and marine environments.

To support the LNRS development, you can fill out this questionnaire giving your thoughts, sign up for updates and keep an eye on the LNRS page.

Professor Michael Winter, LNP Chair & Glanely Professor of Agricultural Change at Exeter University, opened the event with an overview of the LNRS. This was followed by a video talk from Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, who highlighted the crucial importance of local efforts: “If we don’t work out how to do nature recovery locally, I don’t think we can do nature recovery.”

Throughout the day, there were short talks from speakers at various organisations including Buglife, the Environment Agency, Art & Energy CIC, South Devon AONB, National Trust and Devon County Council, as well as workshops on topics including Rivers & Wetlands, and Supporting Communities to Restore Nature. Find information on speakers & workshop leaders, as well as presentations from the day, here.

Some points of particular interest were the Devon Biodiversity Record Centre and the approximately 2,200 County Wildlife Sites across Devon, as well as Buglife’s Life on the Edge project which looks to restore coastline habitats, including coastal areas of the South Hams. In the afternoon, a focus on Nature Based Solutions included a rundown of soil carbon work in the Blackdown Hills and a look at green prescribing and Active Devon’s Connecting Actively to Nature programme.

The day ended with an inspiring talk from Harry Barton, outgoing Vice Chair of the LNP and outgoing Devon Wildlife Trust CEO, envisioning a wildlife-rich future for Devon, supported by the many passionate people and organisations working for nature and the environment.