Local Nature Recovery Strategy

We are responsible for preparing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for North Yorkshire and York.

Latest news

February 2024 Update

  • We received more than 500 responses to our initial Local Nature Recovery Strategy online survey consultation that will help guide priorities for nature recovery across our region. We will be undertaking a formal public consultation on our draft strategy later in the year, where people will have a further opportunity to share their views.
  • We will be hosting two early evening webinars in March to tell people about the work that we have been doing so far and the next steps in the development of the strategy.
  • We are also holding a number of workshop events for farmers and land managers across the county in February, so that we can understand their views on how nature can be encouraged alongside their businesses. So far we have held events in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, and have a further seven events in Thirsk, Selby, Skipton, Great Ayton, Northallerton, Ripon and Malton.
  • We have been gathering lots of information and data on North Yorkshire’s habitats and species from a wide range of national and regional organisations and experts. We are currently compiling all of this data into a central database and will be reviewing this with our partners to select the most important habitats and species in our area. We will then establish the key actions that can be taken for their expansion and recovery across our region.
  • If you would like to join our Local Nature Recovery Strategy mailing list to be kept updated on our progress in developing the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for North Yorkshire and York, please contact us.

What is the Local Nature Recovery Strategy?

The Local Nature Recovery Strategy will consider land at a county scale and 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.

The Local Nature Recovery Strategy will:

  • agree priorities for nature's recovery, such as increasing woodland cover or creating wetlands
  • map the most valuable existing areas for nature
  • map specific proposals for creating and improving habitat for nature and wider environmental goals

As required by law under the Environment Act 2021, every county in England will produce a Local Nature Recovery Strategy. These strategies will work together to restore, create and connect habitats across England.

Decisions about where and how to recover nature will be reached through consultation with a wide range of people and groups in each county, from ecologists and community groups to health professionals and local businesses. In North Yorkshire and York, we want everyone to have their say.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies will help to direct several new funding streams, including funding for farmers and land managers. They will also link with Biodiversity Net Gain, which is a new planning requirement to ensure habitat for wildlife is left in a better state than it was before the development process began.

Read more about Local Nature Recovery Strategies

Watch Defra's video with more information on Local Nature Recovery Strategies

Watch the council's LNRS Introductory webinar for more information

Why does North Yorkshire and York need a Local Nature Recovery Strategy?

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. North Yorkshire is also home to five protected landscapes: Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and North York Moors National Park. Each has internationally important habitats and nationally important landscapes. This impressive nature makes North Yorkshire and York a highly attractive place for people to live, for businesses to locate, and to encourage sustainable tourism.

Nature underpins our lives - from street trees to rivers, nature in North Yorkshire and York provides us with food, water, captures carbon from the atmosphere and provides us with clean air. Walks in nature help us stay physically and mentally healthy, and urban and rural wildlife sightings bring joy to many people.

However, we've witnessed a significant decline in the health of North Yorkshire and York’s natural environment. Despite some successes, the populations of most of our species have been in continuous decline for decades, mainly linked to the loss of the habitats they rely upon. These declines are due to complex factors, including pollution, pesticide use, disease, development, loss of traditional land management practices and climate change.

The Local Nature Recovery Strategy for North Yorkshire and York will help us reverse this nature loss by setting out where and how to manage land and water to create a network of nature-rich sites that are bigger, better managed and more joined-up across the county and across the country.

Why are we partnering with the City of York Council in the preparation of this study?

The government has asked us and the City of York Council to work together, as both local authority areas share a common landscape and river network. Working across administrative boundaries will help nature to recover more effectively. We are also partnering with the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park Authorities and the other organisations in the advisory group (referred to below).

East Riding of Yorkshire Council will be responsible for preparing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for East Yorkshire and Hull, and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be responsible for preparing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for West Yorkshire.

A map of North Yorkshire showing the area covered by our Local Nature Reserve Strategy

Who is funding the preparation of the strategy?

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is providing funding to support the development of Local Nature Recovery Strategies. North Yorkshire Council, City of York Council and other local organisations are also supporting with local knowledge and information to support the strategy. We will work closely with people and groups across the county to develop the strategy. We will also work closely with North Yorkshire’s protected landscapes and Natural England.

When will the strategy be produced?

We are currently developing a plan for preparing the strategy, including how we will engage with stakeholders to produce a draft strategy. Our aim is for the strategy to be completed by the end of 2024.

To kickstart the process, we have set up a steering group with representatives of key partners and stakeholders. The advisory group (steering group) is chaired by the council’s project manager for the strategy.

The following organisations are members of the advisory group:

  • North Yorkshire Council
  • City of York Council
  • North Yorkshire & York Local Nature Partnership
  • North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre
  • Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • North York Moors National Park Authority
  • Natural England
  • Environment Agency
  • Forestry Commission
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
  • White Rose Forest
  • Yorkshire Catchment Hub
  • Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership
  • National Farmers Union

What have we already done to protect nature in North Yorkshire and York?

A range of organisations are already helping to protect nature. The North Yorkshire and York Local Nature Partnership is promoting the value of nature to all and highlighting how nature can help address issues and create opportunities in the business and health sectors. Environmental organisations like the river catchment partnerships, White Rose Forest, Yorkshire Peat Partnership are working with land managers to explore how habitat creation can lead to additional benefits, including financial income, reducing the risk of flooding, better air and water quality and capturing carbon from the atmosphere. These are all supported by many people working on local projects on the ground to help nature recover.

The Local Nature Recovery Strategy will work to collect all this knowledge and activity to understand where we need to focus our efforts in the coming months and years.

How you can help

The North Yorkshire and York Local Nature Recovery Strategy will describe and map nature in our region, set out priorities for nature and wider benefits at county and local level.

The strategy will be shaped by organisations, groups and individuals and this will help us all to understand what we can do together to help nature to flourish in North Yorkshire and York.

We will share ways you can get involved on this page, as the strategy is developed.


We are holding a number of events during February for farmers and land managers to learn more about the strategy and so we can hear their views.

There are 25 places available for each event. Following the event a light meal will be provided. To book a place please click on one of the following listed events:

Share what you are doing already

Inspire us! If you have stories, photos or case studies about supporting nature, wildlife and biodiversity, we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. If you'd like to share something or sign up for updates, please contact us.