FAQs – Landowners, Land Managers, Farmers, Growers and Producers
How will landowners, land managers, farmers, growers and producers be involved, and how much time will you be expected to contribute?
Landowners, farmers, growers and those involved in land management are key stakeholders in Kent and Medway’s LNRS development, with agricultural activity making up 71% of Kent’s land use. However, we are very aware that landowners and farmers are often incredibly time-poor, and have an already high number of administrative demands made of them. With this in mind, the Making Space for Nature project team includes a designated Landowner Officer– Alexa Murray-Mujtaba. We recognise that landowners have a range of trusted advisors, such as the Catchment Sensitive Farming teams from Natural England and the Forestry Commission, agronomists, land agents, lawyers and accountants. Some of you will also be members of farmer clusters, landscape scale projects or other groups where you are already working together to recovery nature. Alexa will be establishing a Land Advice Network, which is open to all who provide advice to across Kent and Medway. She will also be establishing a Landowner, Farmer, Grower, Producer and Land manager Stakeholder Group, which is open to all, ensuring communication and engagement with this important stakeholder group is streamlined. Working with the Land Advice Network and the Land Technical Advice Group (a subset of the LAN who give advice on documents and tools to enable wider engagement by the LAN), her aim will be to gather data that establishes priorities amongst landowners, document work that is already happening, and consider areas that could become of importance to biodiversity. She is also your first point of contact if you have any further questions about the LNRS.
As a landowner, what’s the benefit of the LNRS to me?
If your land has been identified as a priority location in the LNRS, then creating or improving the habitats that the strategy has identified within this location will create 1.15x more BNG units than it would otherwise be worth – DEFRA are calling this the “strategic significance multiplier”. It’s therefore important that when preparing BNG surveys, you refer closely to the LNRS to make sure you are informed by the priorities that it specifies.
Other sources of funding will also be available to incentivise actions specified in the LNRS – whilst more details on this are expected to be announced next year, at present named sources include the National Lottery, and Landscape Recovery, Woodland Creation grants, Carbon Credits,, Flood Resilience funding, amongst others. Source: Nature recovery frequently asked questions (FAQs) – January 2023 | Local Government Association
Further to this, a healthy and thriving natural environment supports the ecosystem services agriculture needs including pollinators; good soil health; water quality and supply; pest control and climate change resilience, mitigation and adaptation.
As a landowner, is my land required to be included in the LNRS?
No, the LNRS will not dictate actions on land, nor will it force landowners and managers to make changes. Instead, it will identify areas of Kent where the creation or improvement of habitat is likely to provide the greatest benefit and will identify “potential measures” to support delivery of the priority – but it will not instruct that they are implemented on the land. The LNRS will inform opportunities for funding and investment, which the government will use to encourage action.
As such, changes to land use will not be mandatory, but beneficial actions identified by the LNRS will be incentivised and rewarded through both public and private sources of funding.
How will the LNRS link to ELMS and other environmental incentive schemes?
The LNRS is expected to be linked to ELMS, although the exact manner in which funding will be made available is still to be detailed.
As previously mentioned, the LNRS will also have a significant bearing on how and where Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) should be delivered, and how BNG units are calculated.
Other sources of funding will likely come from the creation of woodland, species protection, carbon credits, and funding for activities that offer Nature Based Solutions.
Will the LNRS replace any incentive schemes?
No – the LNRS is not an incentive scheme. Rather, it will offer a system of prioritising where the most effective nature recovery can occur across the county, and what action is needed. As such, the LNRS will work in tandem with incentive schemes, as any actions recommended by the LNRS are expected to be supported by them. Any incentive schemes that you are already committed to will remain unaffected by the introduction of the LNRS.
Will the LNRS be ready for when BNG legislation comes into effect?
No, the LNRS will be going to public consultation in early 2025, with the intention of publication in May/June 2025. The BNG regulations are expected to come into effect in January 2024. During this period, strategic significance scoring will be informed by the Interim Strategic Significance Guidance for Kent and Medway– please speak to your local planning authority for more details.