Nature Recovery

Making bigger, better and more joined up wildlife-rich spaces.

Wildflowers on an Oxfordshire hillside


For nature to recover in our county, we need bigger, better and more joined up wildlife-rich spaces where nature can thrive. To achieve this, we need to work with partners to deliver large, landscape-scale nature recovery projects, and engage with land managers to support nature-friendly land management practices.

We are working to secure nature’s recovery through: local landscape recovery projects; supporting development of the new Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) framework to ensure it brings benefits locally; promoting environmental land management including through engagement with farmer clusters; and working with Oxfordshire County Council and stakeholders to help deliver the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) for Oxfordshire (this link opens in a new window).

If you would like to find out more about Oxfordshire's nature, our partners Wild Oxfordshire and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust are excellent resources.

Our objectives

Support local landscape recovery projects and the Local Wildlife Sites project

Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) are wildlife-rich sites selected for their local nature conservation value. They include some of our most important wild habitats in the UK. Many of them are privately owned and so rely on the time and commitment of the landowners, farmers and volunteers who look after them. Our partners work hard to support the protection and restoration of these places. Investment is needed for Local Wildlife Sites to play their full role in developing and delivering the Local Nature Recovery Strategy. OLNP will champion and support the LWS project, aiming to grow the resources available, enabling an improvement in the condition of LWS across the county.

For nature to recover, as well as protecting and enhancing our most precious places for nature, we also need to work at a landscape scale. The OLNP acknowledges the Lawton principle of the need for 'bigger, better, more joined up' places for nature. To achieve this the OLNP will champion and support Farmer Clusters, local Landscape recovery projects, and Catchment Partnerships to deliver for nature.

Ensure LNRS is effective by integrating it into decision-making in planning, agriculture and nature finance

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) are spatial strategies for nature which were mandated in the Environment Act 2021. They map the most important areas that need protection and restoration for nature to recover. They have the potential to be a powerful tool that will help restore our natural habitats and green spaces. Oxfordshire County Council have been nominated as the 'responsible authority' for delivering Oxfordshire's LNRS, with the OLNP are co-ordinating stakeholder input.

Having a best-in-class LNRS is an important step. But it will not achieve nature's recovery unless that strategy is delivered. OLNP will work to ensure the LNRS is given weight in the planning system in Oxfordshire - for example, by being made a binding part of Local Plans. OLNP will also work to use LNRS prioritisation to influence farmers' decisions, including by providing preferred choices for Environmental Land Management (ELM) payments and Countryside Stewardship (CS) options. OLNP is also working to ensure that all nature finance activity in Oxfordshire is in alignment with LNRS, using private money to deliver an agreed approach to nature recovery locally.

Working Groups

Our working groups are made up of experts in their fields who help to deliver our objectives.

The Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) steering group are supporting Oxfordshire County Council in developing an LNRS that works for nature.

The policy working group is an advisory body on nature policy in Oxfordshire made up of representatives with expertise in developing and implementing nature-positive policy. This group seeks to be a trusted source of evidence-based policy advice on nature protection, restoration and enhancement.

The Biodiversity Advisory Group seeks to enable the coordinated delivery of nature’s recovery in Oxfordshire by providing a forum for professionals to share knowledge and expertise. The group also provides expert advice and guidance externally on the development of strategic plans for Oxfordshire’s biodiversity.