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The new Local Nature Recovery Strategy Advisory Panel


Published 16 February 2024 at 3:17pm

Today (16 February), South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard has unveiled the membership of the new Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) Advisory Panel, which will help shape the development of South Yorkshire’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy.

The panel members, who were selected through a competitive process, were chosen to reflect the wide range of interested parties in the region’s nature recovery. They come from a variety of backgrounds including farming, development, conservation, local businesses, ecology, and community groups.

Mayor Coppard is the ‘Responsible Authority’ and, together with South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), will lead the strategy development and oversee South Yorkshire’s LNRS. South Yorkshire is one of 48 LNRS areas in England and is required by law to lead, prepare, publish, review and republish a local strategy.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a new system of spatial strategies for nature and environmental improvement required by law under Section 105 of the Environment Act 2021. The main purpose of the strategies is to identify locations to create or improve habitat most likely to provide the greatest benefit for nature and the wider environment.

All panel members are committed to help SYMCA develop a vision for the Strategy through encouraging a range of perspectives, providing challenge and generating new idea on key topics. 

Chaired by South Yorkshire’s Mayor, the panel will be working alongside all four Local Authorities in the region of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, Defra agencies, the Peak District National Park and wider partners directly involved in development of the strategy.
Members of the board are: 
•    Liz Ballard, CEO of Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust
•    Rachael Bice, CEO at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
•    Sean Davey, Senior Ecologist at Yorkshire Water 
•    Faye Durkin, Head of Nature at Greengage Environmental
•    Chris Harrap, founder of Dearne Valley Farmers
•    Peter Henry, Director of Sustainability at the Harworth Group
•    Louise Hill, Ecological Consultant at MRB Ecology and Environment
•    Kirsty Kirkham, Director at BSG Ecology
•    James Lock, co-founder of Opus, Now Then and the River Don Project
•    Jim Smith, Nature Recovery Advisor at the Forestry Commission 
•    Ted Talbot, Director of Place at Green Estate
•    Tom Wild, Principal Investigator, Department of Landscape and Architecture at the University of Sheffield 

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard said: “Protecting and restoring our natural habitats isn’t simply an added extra; it’s central to the ambition I have as South Yorkshire’s Mayor.
"Because our natural environment - our green spaces, parks, rivers and trees - are amongst our most important assets.

"They’re part of what makes South Yorkshire so special, to so many. But they’re also part of the solution to the problems that we face. We can only stop the wildfires and floods that have had such a devastating impact on so many people’s lives, and tackle the climate emergency that we’re in, if we have a big, bold and ambitious plan.

"So I’m delighted to be working with this diverse and talented group of experts to develop that plan, and to come up with solutions to some of those challenges, so that together we can make South Yorkshire greener, cleaner, healthier and happier."

Director of Sustainability at the Harworth Group Peter Henry said: “With the increasing drive to meet the UK’s Net Zero commitments, the introduction of biodiversity net gain and the myriad of emerging sustainability-based policies at both regional and national levels, the need for coordination to develop better understanding of the interaction between the built environment and wider nature recovery across the region is clear. 

“I hope to be able to share my experience and knowledge of regeneration, gained across South Yorkshire over the last decade, to assist the creation and implementation of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy, fit for the region, that improves the environment for the benefit of all.

Rachael Bice, CEO at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said: “I am delighted to join the Advisory Group to support the production of an ambitious and deliverable Local Nature Recovery Strategy for South Yorkshire. 

“The region can prosper by valuing the wonderful wildlife and wild places peppered throughout our communities, and by working with them to help nature to recover where it has become depleted.

“Though collaboration and careful planning we can also harness the power of nature to solve some of the challenges posed by climate change. This is an exciting time to help shape the future of the nature we depend on, and I am looking forward to working with the group to unlock opportunities.”

The panel will meet once a month for the first six months to shape South Yorkshire’s Strategy and create ideas on ways to improve the natural surroundings in the region.


Last Updated: 16/02/2024

Published In: Greener Future, Mayor, Featured