Access to green space, support for wildlife and an extra push towards net zero in Essex:  these are some of the opportunities presented by the creation of the new independent Local Nature Partnership for Essex (LNP), launched by Essex County Council (ECC).

The Essex LNP will form part of a national network of LNPs and will be responsible for encouraging, supporting and facilitating nature recovery across the county.

As well as helping the county on its journey to net zero, by helping increase natural greenspace and improving access to it across town and country, it will enhance the health and wellbeing opportunities of all Essex residents.

The 14-strong board will see representatives from agriculture, development, local government, conservation organisations, community groups, health organisations and youth groups, with the county council providing initial administrative support.

The LNP will be chaired by experienced conservation leader Dr Simon Lyster.  Essex born, Dr Lyster has worked in wildlife conservation most of his life. Author of the textbook International Wildlife Law, Simon was Head of Conservation Policy at WWF for nearly a decade and was then Director General of the Wildlife Trusts for a further eight years.  

“I am very excited about the LNP”, said Dr Lyster.  “With public support for nature higher than ever, new environmental incentives for farmers coming in, and new duties on local authorities and businesses to conserve and enhance nature, the opportunities for nature recovery in Essex are better than they have ever been.”

“Essex already has some great nature sites” he continued, “but they need to be bigger, more widespread and more joined up so wildlife can thrive throughout the county, and people can have better access to nature wherever they live.   This is what the LNP will seek to achieve.”