The LNP partners have been promoting and improving the natural environment of Gloucestershire for much longer than the Local Nature Partnership has been around, and a key strength of the partnership is that stakeholders in the county have a long a successful history of working together towards mutual aims. The LNP therefore sought to better understand the combined capacity of the partners, in terms of both human and land resource. A short survey of some LNP members produced some interesting results, which really constitutes one of the key strengths of the partnership, and why we are able to achieve what we are.
Partners own or directly manage at least 2,650 hectares of land. This is just less than 1% of the total area of the county. Interestingly, all partners surveyed said they would consider using their land for either carbon sequestration or biodiversity offsetting. The survey also shows that between organisations like FWAG, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and the National Farming Union, the Partnership supports farmers and landowners who manage over 100,000 hectares! This is over one third of the whole county.
When asked about human resource, respondents reported over 130 land managers and land management experts. 130 experts in working with the natural environment. This is such a huge strength for a partnership to be able to draw on.
These findings clearly show what we have known for some time: the a key strength of the partnership is the amount of expertise it represents. The survey results also highlight a huge opportunity for delivering environmental benefits in Gloucestershire, through the significant land that partners have influence over.
Where the partnership adds value is by bringing these stakeholders together, promoting a joined up approach to policy, practice and opportunities. We all know natural processes do not acknowledge man-made boundaries, but operate at the landscape scale. Therefore it is by working together that we can deliver the improvement to our natural environment that the wildlife, society and economy of Gloucestershire so badly needs.