Everyone invited to help nature in Kent

Making Space for Nature in Kent launch event sign

Kent County Council (KCC) has been given the lead role in shaping future priorities for nature recovery in Kent and Medway and everyone is invited to take part.

A nature recovery strategy called Making Space for Nature in Kent is being developed. The strategy will set out measures to tackle habitat loss, safeguard ecosystems and create nature-rich landscapes full of wildlife-friendly habitats. It will also identify where in the county such action would deliver the most, not just in terms of nature but also the wider benefits a healthy and thriving natural environment can bring for all.

This locally led approach is new, with the strategy developed in collaboration with a range of partners from landowners and Kent’s residents. A strategy informed by partners’ priorities, data and knowledge will result in a plan owned by the very partners that will be critical to its delivery. The project will work with those that own and manage the land; those that influence how biodiversity is protected and enhanced; those that use and depend on nature’s services; and those that inform and make decisions. Kent’s residents are being asked their views right from the start and there will be many opportunities to get involved over the twenty months it’s expected it will take to develop the strategy.

The Kent and Medway Local Nature Recovery Strategy is one of 48 across the country, which will create the England Nature Recovery Network, to deliver on the Government’s commitment to ending the decline of nature and supporting its recovery. Once published, the strategy will be a critical evidence base for local plans and decision making and will be used to direct investment from government and green finance to where it will have the greatest effect. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) appointed KCC as the responsible authority to lead on this work, developing the strategy for both Kent and Medway. The work is fully funded by Defra.

Kent County Council member Susan Carey

I encourage everyone to visit our website to find out more and take the first survey.

Susan Carey Kent County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Susan Carey, said: “What’s different about Making Space for Nature is that it will have influence in the planning system and it really matters that we involve Kent’s residents, landowners and all the many groups involved in caring for nature. Many people have already shown their support with over 150 attending the launch in Lenham. I’m also delighted that Simon Curry of Medway Council is joining me on the Making Space for Nature Board as Vice chairman.

“I encourage everyone to visit our website to find out more and take the first survey.”

Visit https://www.makingspacefornaturekent.org.uk/get-involved/

Among those at the Making Space for Nature launch on 05 October in Lenham was local MP, Helen Whately who opened proceedings. Among those presenting were Jim Seymour of Natural England, Claire Eckley of Kent NFU, Paul Hadaway of Kent Wildlife Trust and Emma Loder-Symonds of Nonington Farms who has just won the Environment Champion Award at the 2023 Farmers Weekly Awards. To find out more, visit https://www.makingspacefornaturekent.org.uk/news/.