Local nature partnerships

In its Natural Environment White Paper, Government recognised that partnership working was key to delivering our ambitions for the natural environment at a local level and set out our vision for Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs):

“In developing this White Paper, we have received one particularly clear message: effective action to benefit nature, people and the economy locally happens when the right people come together in partnership”

We will encourage and support Local Nature Partnerships where local areas wish to establish them.  These partnerships will work at a strategic scale to improve the range of benefits and services we get from a healthy natural environment.  They will aim to improve the multiple benefits we receive from the good management of the land.”

Latest news

What are Local Nature Partnerships?

The ambition for LNPs is that they will help their local area to manage the natural environment as a system and to embed its value in local decisions for the benefit of nature, people and the economy.  To do this effectively they will need to be self-sustaining strategic partnerships of a broad range of  local organisations, businesses and people with the credibility to work with and influence other local strategic decision makers. There are currently 48 LNPs across England:

The overall purpose of an LNP is to:

  • Drive positive change in the local natural environment, taking a strategic view of the challenges and opportunities involved and identifying ways to manage it as a system for the benefit of nature, people and the economy.
  • Contribute to achieving the Government’s national environmental objectives locally, including the identification of local ecological networks, alongside addressing local priorities.
  • Become local champions influencing decision-making relating to the natural environment and its value to social and economic outcomes, in particular, through working closely with local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Health and Wellbeing Boards.

At the heart of our ambition for LNPs is that each area finds its own way to make the LNP role real and meaningful locally.  Within the framework of the overall LNP role, it is for each LNP to decide what their priorities are and how they work in the way that best suits the needs and challenges of their local area.

Further detail on the vision for LNPs is available:

Richard Benyon announced the first LNPs in July 2012 saying:

“The vision, energy and commitment displayed in these applications was wonderful. Really diverse partners, many coming together for the first time, to work across geographic boundaries and administrative borders, and finding innovative ways of pooling and sharing limited local resources.  And all this driven by the ambition to not only safeguard nature, but to recognise its importance to economic growth and the wellbeing of communities.”

Richard Benyon
Parliamentary Undersecretary for the Natural Environment

The application process

Applications to become a Government-recognised LNP opened on 2 April 2012 and closed on 6 June 2012.  There will not be further opportunities to apply to become an LNP.  We received 50 applications which were assessed against the published criteria.

The information that was available to applicants included:

Applications were open to all, whether or not LNP capacity building funding had been received.


A one-off LNP capacity building fund was made available in 2011 and has now closed.  A list of all successful applicants to the fund (pdf) has been published.

Future plans

We will host a Ministerial event this winter (to be repeated annually) at which the LNPs can come together to share best practice, discuss delivery issues and celebrate success.


Local Nature Partnerships are a key Natural Environment White Paper commitment.  One of the particularly clear messages from our consultation for the white paper was that there was a need for local areas to work in a joined up and strategic way to help manage the natural environment to produce multiple benefits for people, the economy and the environment.

This echoed conclusions of the independent UK National Ecosystem Assessment, which emphasised the need for an integrated, landscape-scale approach to managing the natural environment.  Government responded by committing to:

“encourage and support Local Nature Partnerships where local areas wish to establish them”


For more information, contact LNPs@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Page last modified: 18 October 2012