Oxfordshire County Council named as responsible body for delivering Local Nature Recovery Strategies

July 5, 2023
Becky Chesshyre

Oxfordshire County Council has been named by the government as a ‘responsible authority’ for driving nature recovery. It is one of 48 councils set to benefit from a £14 million government funding pot, enabling it to work with local communities to develop a tailored nature recovery strategy for Oxfordshire.

Local nature recovery strategies will help communities map out the action needed in their area to restore nature, working closely with local stakeholders, from farmers to schoolchildren, to meet the government’s England-wide nature targets.

The county council will work closely with Oxfordshire’s city and district councils, as well as Oxfordshire’s Local Nature Partnership and environmental organisations, to co-ordinate these plans for nature recovery in Oxfordshire.

Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “This marks a big step forward in turning this pivotal national strategy into action. The natural world is our best protection against climate change and this strategy helps achieve that.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to step up and be the responsible authority for Oxfordshire, capitalising on powerful alliances we’re already building. We all know the vast magnitude of the task and that the time has come for rapid action, strengthening the natural world against the inevitable disruptive impacts of our disintegrating climate system.”

Matt Whitney, Manager of the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership, said: “For nature to recover, we need to work together.

“We’re delighted to collaborate with so many talented and passionate organisations and people working for nature. Together we can make the new local nature recovery strategy a powerful tool for restoring our natural habitats so that nature and people can thrive together.”

Environment Secretary, Therese Coffey, said: “We depend on nature for everything and now nature really needs our help. Across the country, local nature recovery strategies will enhance wildlife habitats that reflect the wonderful tapestry of nature that exists on our isles.”

The announcement was made on Friday 30 June, the same day the government launched its £25m Species Survival Fund to help drive the action needed to halt the decline in species, which complements the local nature recovery strategies.

The new funding will support projects with grants of up to £3m to tackle habitat loss, safeguard our fragile ecosystems and create nature-rich landscapes full of wildlife-friendly habitats such as grasslands, woodlands and wetlands.

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