Natural England yesterday published an action plan for 2021-2022, a year that has seen a £63 million uplift to the body’s revenue and capital funding.
The Plan sets out four shifts to the way Natural England works:
- Driving the Nature Recovery Network through design, development and delivery in partnerships, through Local Nature Recovery Strategies.
- Investing in Area Teams to work in partnership with local responsible authorities to enable a green recovery and support robust strategic plans.
- Working to connect with the whole of society and to better understand and tackle the barriers to enjoying, engaging and connecting with the natural environment. Also making Natural England a more diverse organisation.
- Design and embed evidence gathering and evaluation into new approaches and learn from them.
The document also sets out priorities for 2021-22 across each of Natural England’s key work areas, including nature recovery, sustainable development, greener farming and fisheries, connecting people with nature, specialist science and evidence, managing the organisation, finances and measuring success. For example, in sustainable development, the organisation is planning to build its statutory consultee role with planning authorities to address Environment Bill and planning reform initiatives, and reform planning work to enable a greater focus on high value cases with greatest environmental risk or opportunity. Natural England will also be reforming licensing activity to expand strategic approaches.