Making Space for Nature is launched in Lenham
6 October 2023
On Thursday the 5th October, 150 people from organisations across Kent gathered to celebrate the launch of the Making Space for Nature in Kent & Medway project.
This DEFRA-funded project, led by Kent County Council, will result in the development of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) for Kent & Medway. It will be one of 48 much needed strategies covering England, with no gaps or overlaps, to deliver on the government’s commitment to ending the decline of nature and supporting its recovery.
The event was hosted at the beautiful Tithe Barn in Lenham, which has been a hub of agricultural activity for over 500 years, and was the perfect setting to exchange thoughts and hear insights into the array of nature recovery work already happening across Kent, as well as the exciting potential for what could be achieved by combining efforts through an LNRS.
The event was opened by local MP Helen Whately and Chaired by Susan Carey, KCC Cabinet Member for Environment, with Making Space for Nature Vice Chair, Councillor Simon Curry from Medway Council also in attendance. A wide range of organisations presented, including, Natural England, the NFU, Kent Downs AONB, Nonington Farms and the Kent Wildlife Trust.
Susan Carey said: “We want to develop our strategy with input from all from the outset but securing this level of engagement is ambitious. It was therefore so encouraging to have over 150 people attending our launch event in Lenham, demonstrating that already there is wide support for this work across the many sectors critical to the strategy’s success.”
As the obvious passion and enthusiasm of attendees buzzed through the barn, it was clear that everyone was ready to come together with knowledge and skills, to create a powerful LNRS that would offer the very best hope for nature recovery in Kent. “The LNRS is going to be a fantastic opportunity for the county to really get together and create a coherent strategy to restore nature” said Rory Harding from the Kent Wildlife Trust “It will be vital to have this joined up programme of work to create new wildlife habitat, and recover nature at the scale we need.”
Matthew Balfour, chair of the Kent Nature Partnership, commented, “We are at last recognising that nature in Kent, and indeed the rest of the country, needs our help, and to do that we’ve all got to get together to improve nature”.
Matthew Woodcock from the Forestry Commission said “Having been involved with Kent for nearly 40 years now, it’s brilliant to see something like the Local Nature Recovery Strategy coming through and drawing the full cross-section of land management elements together, to see if we can develop a fully-integrated way forward for the future”
The next 20 months will see an exciting and ambitious development period, featuring engagement with landowners and organisations from across the public, private and voluntary sectors. The aim is to ensure a comprehensive, bottom-up approach that fully represents Kent’s interests, and results in meaningful, impactful recovery of nature in Kent.
So, now the real work on the Making Space for Nature project begins. If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved over the coming months, get in touch with the team at email@example.com
All presentation slides from the event are available to download below.
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