Residents of North Yorkshire and York are being encouraged to share their views about the area’s nature to help to shape and protect its assets for future generations.
To address the decline of nature and to improve the environment, every county in England is required to produce a Local Nature Recovery Strategy. These provide an opportunity for nature specialists, professional experts, businesses and residents to come together to find out about ways to restore and enhance nature.
People are now being asked to share their views to help to shape the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for North Yorkshire and York.
The strategy will identify locations to improve nature and provide other benefits, such as capturing carbon from the atmosphere, flood regulation and access to nature-rich spaces where this is most needed for health and wellbeing.
North Yorkshire and York support an amazing diversity of landscapes and wildlife, from ancient woodland and chalk hills to large expanses of open moorland and beautiful historic parklands.
This helps us to tackle climate change, protects us from natural hazards, is good for our physical and mental health and keeps us active, helps to attract visitors and is a source of employment.
However, globally we have witnessed a significant decline in the health of the natural environment.
This strategy will help to reverse this loss by setting out where and how to protect spaces and create a network of nature-rich sites which are bigger, better managed and more joined up across the county and across the country.
To help to shape the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for North Yorkshire and York, North Yorkshire Council wants people to share why they care about nature, their thoughts on wildlife species and if they have seen examples of projects in their area to restore or protect nature.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for managing our environment, Councillor Greg White, said: “The Local Nature Recovery Strategy for North Yorkshire and York will map nature in our region and identify an action plan to help safeguard it for the future.
“The strategy will be shaped by organisations, groups and individuals to help us understand what we can do together to help nature to flourish.
“I would urge people to share their views or any examples they might have of where nature is flourishing to help us protect it for future generations.”
As both North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council share a common landscape and river network, the Government has asked both authorities to work together, in partnership with other organisations with a keen interest in nature recovery.
City of York Council’s joint executive member for environment and climate emergency, Cllr Jenny Kent, said: “The Local Nature Recovery Strategy is a true partnership effort between York and North Yorkshire – working together to protect and enhance our fantastic landscapes, from our moors to our village greens and city strays.
“Supporting and creating diverse, healthy green spaces and waterways is vital to reverse the global loss of biodiversity and help combat climate change. I encourage everyone to take part – have your say on the steps we can take to protect nature for future generations.”
The consultation is available on North Yorkshire Council’s website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/lnrs. The closing date for people to share their views is Monday, February 12.
Responses submitted through the consultation will help to shape the draft strategy that will be finalised towards the end of 2024.