Natural Capital can be defined as the planet's stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and biodiversity. People derive a wide range of ecosystem services (see box on the right) from this Natural Capital such as water and atmospheric purification, nutrient recycling, flood alleviation, energy, food and the health benefits of recreation and the enjoyment of nature. The Gloucestershire LNP wants to see landscapes rich in nature, where wild species and habitats are part of healthy, functioning ecosystems that are well-managed and valued by everyone. The conservation of nature has social, cultural and economic value and should be a normal consideration for most policies and decisions.
Gloucestershire is a highly diverse county with three major rivers, the urban settlements of Gloucester and Cheltenham, plus three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The main landscapes range from the Wye Valley with its ravine landform and ancient woodlands in the west, to the streams of the Cotswold plateau in the east. In the Forest of Dean there is a wealth of habitats including acid grassland, heath and oak woodland some of which have colonised areas of previous industrial use. The River Severn, and its floodplain and estuary, occupies the centre of the county and is important for wintering wildfowl and breeding waders. The Cotswold escarpment has hectares of unspoilt limestone grassland and beech woodland to enjoy. The Cotswold Water Park with its many old and new mineral workings supports a great variety of biodiversity and is a popular destination for recreation. In the north the county is bordered by the Malverns with their famous and distinctive hills.
In July 2012 the government (Defra) formally recognised the establishment of the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership or LNP. To find out more see the Partnership pages.
Strategy & Delivery Plan
A strategic change to co-ordinating action for the County's biodiversity was made in 2010 and this has been recognised and integrated into the work of the LNP. An ecosystem and ecological network approach to conservation action is being taken including promoting climate change adaptation and improving green infrastructure. To find out more visit The Plan pages.
Delivery is being progressed by many LNP members through a number of linked landscape-scale and community initiatives.