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Protected sites and species

National Nature Reserves – for inspiration and celebration!

Golitha Falls National Nature Reserve

By Mike Downey, Principal Officer for National Nature Reserves This week is a really exciting week in the calendar for England’s National Nature Reserves (NNRs). Monday 20th May marked the start of National Nature Reserves Week 2024, an annual celebration …

Providing guidance to protect habitats and threatened native species

A Barbastelle bat

By James Marshall, Deputy Director for Norfolk and Suffolk As the government’s advisers on the natural environment, Natural England’s role is to ensure our environment is conserved, enhanced and managed for the benefit of people and wildlife. Recent media reports …

Welcoming the Government response to the Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor

A rock formation on Dartmoor

Since publication of the Independent Review, Natural England has been working hard to rebuild trust and understanding with Dartmoor farmers. We have actively listened to commoners, land managers and partners, and we are seeing signs of improved relations and a …

Natural England wildlife licensing statistics for 2023

A great crested newt on a mossy piece of tree debris

Many wild animals and plants are protected by legislation such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. As nature conservation adviser and regulator, one of Natural England’s roles is to licence …

Wetland restoration: for people and planet

Image shows a common redshank bird standing within a grassy patch with white native flowers growing around it.

By Craig Ralston, Reserve Manager, Natural England World Wetlands Day, an annual awareness day, marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971. The adoption took place in the Iranian city of Ramsar, on …

Environmental Improvement Plan one year on: Driving Nature recovery on land and sea

Puffin, atlantic puffin, Scientific name: Fratercula arctica with a beak full of sand eels. Perched on a lichen covered rock. Blue sky background. Facing left. Horizontal

By Alan Law, Deputy Chief Executive, Natural England This time last year, Defra’s Secretary of State launched the Environmental Improvement Plan to an audience of nature conservation bodies and the media in the nature rich setting of Camley Street Natural …

New area added to licensing scheme to protect great crested newts and promote sustainable development

One of the restored ponds in Hertfordshire

Natural England has launched a new licensing scheme in Hertfordshire to help conserve local populations of great crested newts, while promoting sustainable development. Since Natural England launched District Level Licensing (DLL) in 2019, the scheme has expanded to cover 21 …

30 by 30: a boost for nature recovery

Image shows a large tree standing within a lush green forest.

Written by James Markwick Principal Adviser, Biodiversity Policy  After a year of extreme weather events in which many climate records were broken, world leaders met in Dubai to discuss tackling climate change at COP28, with the hope of keeping alive …

LIFE in the Ravines: planting for the future

The team climb a tall grassy hill. There is fallen snow or frost coating the ground. A blue sky hangs overhead, and rolling hills in the distance, all covered in white coating.

It is no easy feat, hefting heavy gear across rugged terrain, with young, tender saplings in tow. But that’s exactly the task of our amazing woodland restoration teams as they set about tree planting in the autumn and winter seasons. …