More information about Nature Recovery Hampshire

The area that the Hampshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) will cover

There will be a single Strategy to cover the whole of Hampshire including the two cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, and the two National Parks of the New Forest and South Downs.

What the LNRS will do

The LNRS will guide how nature recovery will take place in Hampshire and will have a particularly important role in guiding how Biodiversity Net Gain is delivered across the Strategy area. It will set out the priorities for achieving the best outcomes for nature recovery, while providing options and opportunities which will support the wider strategies of the County Council and partner authorities.

What the LNRS will not do

The LNRS will not dictate how land is used or be used as a way of limiting the choices land managers have on their land.  The maps will provide a range of options and help people and organisations make evidence-based decisions.

While the Strategy will set out priorities for nature recovery, these will be recommendations and not commitments for delivery. The delivery of the Strategy will involve a range of organisations, community and special interest groups, residents, landowners and communities, and therefore cannot be delivered by the County Council alone. It is hoped, however, that the LNRS will enable partners to take advantage of funding opportunities to work together to deliver the priorities identified.

The County Council is working with partners and stakeholders in the process

Partnership working is crucial to the success of the Strategy and so the County Council has established a LNRS Steering Group which comprises representatives of the following key partner organisations:

  • Southampton City Council
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • A representative of the Local Planning Authorities
  • South Downs National Park Authority
  • New Forest National Park Authority
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Nature Partnership
  • Natural England
  • National Farmers Union
  • Country Business and Land Association

The Steering Group is meeting frequently to drive the project forward and help inform decision making for the project.

We recognise that the Steering Group does not include all the stakeholders who would wish to be involved in the project.  As part of broader engagement activity, we are planning a series of themed workshops to enable a wider group to help us shape the strategy.  We are also undertaking a public survey to enable all Hampshire residents and workers to input into the project.

The County Council is working with neighbouring responsible authorities

The County Council is a member of the London and South-East England Responsible Authority Network group which provides an opportunity for authorities to share information, expertise, best practice and stay up to date on where everyone is in the process.

Some of our neighbouring authorities are not represented on this group and so we are liaising separately, with the Isle of Wight Council, Dorset Council and Wiltshire Council to make sure we are working closely with them.

Engagement with local city, borough and district councils

Hampshire’s local councils have an important role to play in the development of the Strategy. In recognition of this, a Local Planning Authority Working Group has been established.  This provides the boroughs and districts with an opportunity to discuss key issues specific to their areas as they arise, and help shape the Strategy with the benefit of their local knowledge. A representative from this Group sits on the Steering Group to allow feedback both ways.

The LNRS relationship with Local Plans

We await guidance from the government on the relationship between LNRS and local plans.

However, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill expects all levels of planning to ‘take account’ of LNRS, including specific elements of the strategies such as those areas identified as having potential to be of particular importance for biodiversity.  The guidance is expected to be published in late 2023 and will include details of how much weight must be given to LNRS in the local plan making process.