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Natural England and Harleston in Step

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Andy Millar, Natural England senior advisor for nature recovery in Norfolk and Suffolk, joined our launch and gave his support for Nature Recovery in Harleston.

Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council have been formally appointed by Government as responsible authorities for preparing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for their respective counties. This means that they will be working together to help improve wildlife habitats and reverse the decline of biodiversity across the region, working with local communities to develop a tailored nature recovery strategy for their areas. From large estates to small urban gardens, every pledge matters.

Natural England, with like minded partners and other initiatives and partners across East Anglia from all parts of society and walks of life, is on a journey to build a truly joined-up and resilient Nature Recovery Network across the country.

Nature Recovery in Harleston is on this journey.

Chairman of Redenhall with Harleston Town Council Trevor Graham, Andy Millar, Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby, and South Norfolk Councillor Jeremy Savage and gave their backing to the plans.

In an article published in Wild East, Andy gave his thoughts on Nature Recovery being a bottom up movement just as our Nature Recovery in Harleston.

'I should imagine that many of you, like me, are excited to make your land or your space as attractive as it can be for nature, whether that’s a courtyard, a large garden, a community open space in a city or a large rural estate. But sometimes it’s too easy, when faced with still too frequent bad news about habitat and species loss around the world, to feel defeated and wonder if our individual contributions can make a difference, or how they fit in? 'The answer is a resounding yes, every contribution, no matter how small, makes a difference, and is part of a growing bigger picture. We all know by now we need bigger, better and more connected places for nature in our land and seascape. We need joined-up large areas and corridors where wildlife can thrive, move and migrate, adapt, build resilience to change and begin to address the twin threats of the climate and biodiversity crises. This isn’t just important for its own sake either; its well-known now that a thriving natural environment can provide services, often for free, that help support a healthy society and a prosperous and properly sustainable economy. Also, if the pandemic teaches us anything it’s that being immersed in and connected with nature improves our own mental and physical well-being. Help nature and it will help us. 'In East Anglia, there are already projects underway and partnerships working together to showcase how we can build nature recovery into our landscape and society'

'It’s so exciting to see the enthusiasm and energy to work together... Partnerships are key to making it happen, as it will need all parts of society coming together, working on a shared vision, pulling in the same direction and blending all the available tools and funding sources into the same places to make real the changes we need. 'So, the Nature Recovery Network sounds like something big and something only large landowners and professionals can deliver? If I ‘re-wild’ my garden, or create a community wildlife space, no matter how small, am I making a difference to the Nature Recovery Network...? '...if I mentally zoom out from my space, and look around... Maybe friends and neighbours in your locality are like minded? Suddenly there’s several nature rich gardens all close to each other, greater than the sum of their parts. Now look wider, maybe the countryside around is being managed for wildlife, maybe new meadows and green space are being created, open spaces in your town now semi-natural and full of butterflies rather than manicured. Those two isolated small woods nearby, separated by a field…could that field be planted with native trees to link those two woods up and create a larger more connected habitat? Zooming out further, it’s possible to see where we all are in the wider East Anglian landscape, to give us our sense of place, and see where the nature recovery opportunities are. 'So yes, we are all making a difference. All our collective contributions, no matter how small they seem, will help. A Nature Recovery Network will be constructed both from the top and bottom, from the very large to the very small, including the small steps we take individually at home that together we build into something bigger. So, let’s all get out there and make it happen.


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