Natural England - Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs)

Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs)

England’s first twelve Nature Improvement Areas started work on the 1 April 2012 and making good progress. Having successfully completed their second year of delivery they are now in the third and final year of the government funded programme. Each NIA is on track and on budget, delivering their ambitious plans to improve their areas for people and wildlife.

Examples and details of delivery to date can be found in the latest news section, with further details on the links below.

Details of the Nature Improvement Areas and the Programme are contained on this website.

The twelve initial NIAs extend from Morecambe Bay in the North West to the Wild Purbeck in the South West.

These areas will become much better places for wildlife – creating more and better-connected habitats at a landscape scale, providing space for wildlife to thrive and adapt to climate change.

They will help people as well as wildlife – through enhancing a wide range of benefits that nature provides, such as recreation opportunities, flood protection, cleaner water and carbon storage.

They will also help to unite local communities, landowners and businesses through a shared vision for a better future for people and wildlife. We hope they will become places of inspiration that are loved by current and future generations.

The twelve NIAs now in their third year of activity across hundreds of thousands of hectares, where locally-led projects have a share of the governments £7.5 million, taking action that will benefit wildlife and people, and encourage more local people to engage with nature. This relatively modest investment by Defra and Natural England has already attracted over £40million of additional resources, from cash contributions, gifts in kind, and voluntary support.

The twelve NIAs were winners in a national competition announced in the Natural Environment White Paperexternal link.

Local Nature Partnerships and local planning authorities can now identify and agree where locally determined NIAs can take shape. These are distinct from the 12 initial NIAs who were awarded NIA status and a share of the £7.5 million funding.

Locally Determined NIAs are encouraged to apply the criteria, the M&E framework and lessons learnt from the 12 initial NIAs to help inform their development and progress. Resources and support to be identified and addressed locally.

If you have any queries about the scheme please contact:

Brian McDonald, Programme Manager

Judith Milne, Programme Officer

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