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Local nature recovery

We're the 'responsible authority' appointed by the government to lead on work to prepare and publish a local nature recovery strategy (LNRS) for Derbyshire.

We publish information about the LNRS, provide updates on our progress in developing the strategy, and provide partners, stakeholders and the public with information, documents and resources that will help you to get involved in helping us to develop this vital piece of work.


Local nature recovery strategies are a new system of spatial strategies for nature and environmental improvement across England that will establish priorities and map proposals to drive nature's recovery and provide wider environmental benefits.

The local nature recovery strategy (LNRS) for Derbyshire will provide the process for nature recovery in Derbyshire. It will set a long-term vision and action plan that is formed and delivered in collaboration with partners, stakeholders and the public.

It will be based on existing good practice and expertise, and create new opportunities to apply the advantages of partnership working to enable nature to thrive.

Preparing an LNRS for Derbyshire

In preparing the LNRS for Derbyshire, we must follow an approach set out in law and in statutory guidance:

  1. Map areas that are of particular importance, for biodiversity, including national conservation sites, local nature reserves, local wildlife sites and irreplaceable habitats.
  2. Map areas where action for nature recovery has already been taken when the LNRS are reviewed and republished (this step isn't needed for the initial production of the LNRS - as and when the strategy is formally reviewed, this step will be required).
  3. Describe the strategy area and its biodiversity and opportunities for recovery.
  4. Agree LNRS priorities and identify potential measures (this creates a statement of biodiversity priorities that forms part of the LNRS).
  5. Map areas that could become of particular importance (this creates a local habitat map that forms part of the LNRS).
  6. Local nature recovery strategy.

We've been working on step 1 of the LNRS process, collecting baseline environmental information on designated sites and notable habitats within our area. We've used this to build up our map of areas that are already known to be of 'particular importance for biodiversity' and the natural environment.

You can use our new mapping portal to explore this information and learn about these important sites and habitats in Derbyshire. This information is the starting point for preparing the strategy. We'll use this together with other environmental data and evidence to feed into our strategy development and inform our discussions with partners and stakeholders during later stages of our work.

On 11 January 2024, our Cabinet approved a report that sets out the method by which the Local Nature Recovery Strategy will be prepared. You can view the report at item 9 on the Cabinet meeting agenda.

The report includes a Public Information Memorandum that explains why the preparation of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy is important for Derbyshire and how this will be done over the period January 2024 to March 2025. The LNRS is a vital partnership to enhance the county's biodiversity, and this memorandum seeks to assure people and organisations who want to contribute to this that the strategy will be progressed in accordance with government legislation and guidance.

The Derbyshire natural capital strategy

In 2021, we commissioned consultants to undertake a major study into the 'natural capital' of Derbyshire, so that we could understand the real value of the environment to the people of Derbyshire. Natural capital is the term used to describe the world's stock of natural resources. Our natural resources provide us with a huge variety of benefits, goods and services - known as ecosystem services - which are vital to life on earth, and which support our health and wellbeing as well as being vital for our economy.

The aim of the natural capital strategy study was to assess the natural capital we have in Derbyshire and investigate the ecosystem services the environment provides for us. If we can identify and recognize the value in our natural capital, we can support the environment to deliver more ecosystem services - more benefits - improving people's quality of life and improving our sustainability.

You can learn more about our work on the natural capital strategy for Derbyshire from our StoryMap.

The full natural capital strategy is attached to this page.

And you can view some of the natural capital strategy habitat mapping using our mapping portal.

The LNRS mapping portal

The LNRS mapping portal, makes it easier for people to access mapping information about the environment in Derbyshire.

At this stage of the project, we're able to share baseline information about the current state of the environment in Derbyshire - the starting point for the development of the LNRS. There are 2 mapping datasets available.

A habitat map for the whole of Derbyshire

This map will be visible when you open the mapping portal. Once you've zoomed in to the map (zoom level 5 and beyond) you'll be able to click on the map to find out about the habitats types found in that location. This map data is drawn from the Natural Capital Strategy - see chapter 2 for further information.

Areas of particular importance for biodiversity

This is our step 1 mapping, and shows areas of known biodiversity value within Derbyshire. This dataset can be turned on by ticking the 'areas of particular importance for biodiversity' map layer. The habitats and sites shown include:

  • national conservation designations - sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs), special areas for conservation (SACs), special protection areas (SPAs) and national nature reserves (NNRs)
  • local nature reserves
  • designated local wildlife sites
  • areas of 'irreplaceable habitats' - ancient woodland, ancient and veteran trees, blanket bog, limestone pavement and lowland fen

As we progress our work on the strategy, we hope to be able to use the mapping portal to share more environmental data and information. Once the LNRS is completed, we'll produce a local habitat map showing not just areas of existing value for wildlife, but also those areas that could become of importance in the future - the areas where we, and local partners propose that effort should be concentrated to restore habitat, to achieve the most for biodiversity and the wider environment.

Next steps

In early 2024, we'll begin work on step 3 of the LNRS process, in which we'll develop our understanding of biodiversity and the environment in Derbyshire and identify priorities for nature recovery.

This will be one of the biggest and most important steps in the development of the LNRS. We'll be working with all of our stakeholders and partners to develop our shared understanding of the issues and challenges facing the environment. We'll look for the best opportunities for nature recovery in the county.

As the strategy is developed, we'll provide information about what we've achieved, draft strategy documents, workshop outputs and more.

If you'd like to be involved in the LNRS process but haven't contacted us yet, email

You can also learn more about local nature recovery strategies and local nature recovery strategy statutory guidance.