Help us shape the future of nature in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes

Closes 18 Aug 2024

Opened 8 Jul 2024


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We want to hear which aspects of nature are important to you to help us develop a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.

Why we need to recover nature

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are home to a wide range of wildlife. For example, we have on our doorstep some of the world’s only chalk streams, ancient woodland and nationally significant populations of species such as native black poplar trees and black hairstreak butterflies.

The health of the natural environment is critical in supporting these habitats and species.

Nature is both vital for human life and economic growth and it is an important part of our heritage. 

However, our wildlife is under threat and in decline for many reasons, including climate change, competition for land and the rise of pests and diseases.

We are developing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to help reverse the decline in nature in our local area (also known as ‘recovering’ nature).

We want to hear your views on our draft priorities for nature so they align with the nature you think is important to see in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes in the future. You do not need to be an expert on nature to take part.

What a Local Nature Recovery Strategy is

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) were introduced in the Environment Act 2021. Every area in England is producing one. A LNRS: 

  • provides a single vision for improving and increasing nature 
  • sets out local priorities and opportunities for nature recovery activities  
  • identifies the best locations to improve nature  
  • helps Local Planning Authorities plan with regard to the natural environment
  • supports the delivery of Biodiversity Net Gain (a national policy that requires a 10% increase in biodiversity in all new developments)  
  • helps deliver our National Environment Objectives set by Government

The strategies do not force the owners and managers of the land identified to make any changes. Instead, the Government is encouraging action through opportunities for funding and investment. For example, Environment Land Management Schemes (ELMs), Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), and for planning authorities to have regard to the LNRS in statutory Local Plans.

Who is responsible for developing the LNRS

We, Buckinghamshire Council, are responsible for developing the LNRS for the area. Milton Keynes City Council and Natural England are partners in the process. We commissioned the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership (NEP), our Local Nature Partnership, to lead the LNRS process on our behalf.

How we are developing the LNRS

Stakeholder engagement is key to the development of the LNRS.

Our stakeholders include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • residents
  • farmers and landowners
  • town and parish councils
  • businesses
  • developers
  • environmental organisations and experts
  • local members

In Spring 2024, we identified a draft set of priorities for nature through workshops with our stakeholders. We also gathered information on the pressures on nature that are the most urgent to address, and the benefits that nature provides that are vital for us. Stakeholders also told us how they would like the LNRS to be presented so it is user-friendly.

Each step in the LNRS stakeholder engagement process will feed into the next. For example, responses to this activity will be used to cross-check the information we gathered through the workshops, as well as collecting views on nature in the area.

Buckinghamshire (not including Milton Keynes) was part of a Defra pilot to understand how best to develop LNRSs. The information gathered during the pilot will be incorporated in the final LNRS for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. 

How we are developing the priorities and actions to be included in the LNRS

Through our stakeholder engagement across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes in Spring 2024, and an earlier LNRS pilot in Buckinghamshire, we have developed a shortlist of draft priorities for nature’s recovery.

To help us do this, we divided Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes into geographic zones. These are based on areas with similar underlying ecology and geology so we can collect data and develop priorities that are tailored to the landscape.

View the National Character Zone map for Buckinghamshire and Mitlon Keynes (PDF 2.82MB).

To develop the shortlist of draft priorities, we analysed all of the information we received using national guidelines, specifically ensuring that the priorities shortlisted: 

  • are related to a species and/or habitat that is important for the area 
  • are the most urgent to address 
  • deliver at least one National Environment Objective
  • and/or take into consideration the preferences of the people who live and work in the area

Draft priorities for the Local Nature Recovery Strategy

The 11 broad priorities for nature in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes that have been identified by stakeholders so far are: 

  • create connections between natural areas for wildlife to flourish
  • take action to improve soil quality
  • restore rivers and enhance their floodplains
  • increase and improve wetlands and ponds
  • improve river water quality
  • improve and increase the most important (priority) habitats in the area
  • improve and increase other habitats for biodiversity (non-priority)
  • enable farmers to balance production with wildlife-friendly farming practices
  • improve biodiversity in urban and other built-up areas
  • help nature adapt to a changing climate
  • improve the environment for target species

Related links

Before you respond to this activity, please have a look at the following links:

How to have your say

You can tell us your views in one of the following ways:

If you have any questions about this activity, please email us at

Please tell us your views by 11:59pm on Sunday 18 August 2024.

What happens next

We will review all the feedback we receive. The feedback will be used to help refine the shortlist of priorities for nature recovery and improvement in the LNRS for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes ahead of further engagement and consultation.

We will also use the feedback to develop and assign actions that can be taken to achieve each draft priority. We will also be drawing from relevant existing plans and strategies to inform the priorities.

In Autumn 2024, we aim to bring together representatives from different sectors to shape how the draft priorities are reflected in the LNRS Local Habit Map, which will identify the key areas of action to improve nature. 

The draft Local Nature Recovery Strategy will be subject to public consultation in early 2025. 


We will use the information you provide here only for this activity. We will store the information securely in line with data protection laws and will not share or publish any personal details. For more information about data and privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.

Your data will also be shared with the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership (NEP), our Local Nature Partnership, who lead the LNRS process on our behalf. For details of how they process your data, please read their Privacy Policy.

If you have questions about data and privacy, please email us on or write to our Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.

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