The Challenge – Devon’s Ecological Emergency
Devon supports an amazing diversity of landscapes and wildlife habitats, ranging from upland peat bogs, to ancient oak woodlands, rivers, ancient hedges and species rich grasslands. We are a national stronghold for otters, dormice, greater horseshoe bats and support globally threatened species such as the marsh fritillary butterfly and European eel. We have deep rich and fertile soils and an abundant water supply.
This environment is our greatest asset. It provides us with food, fuel, carbon sequestration, pollination, flood control, great recreational and business opportunities and a natural health service. It is one of the main reasons that people and businesses want to live in Devon. It underpins our lives.
Over the last fifty years the loss and decline of Devon’s habitats and species has accelerated rapidly. Our wildlife is threatened from a range of complex impacts including habitat loss, pesticides, disease, invasive species, inappropriate management, pollution and climate change.
We are part of a global Climate and Ecological Emergency and need to take urgent action to restore the natural systems on which we depend.
The Devon Local Nature Partnership (LNP)
Devon LNP was established in 2012. It is a voluntary strategic collaboration of a huge range of organisations, groups and individuals committed to working together to restore Devon’s natural environment for people, wildlife and business.
Our three goals are to:
* Deliver a Nature Recovery Network – Protect and restore a network of wildlife rich habitats and natural systems across the county in towns, villages, rural areas and at sea.
* Respond to the Climate Emergency – Use natural solutions to capture carbon and increase our resilience to climate change and flooding. Restoring peatlands, wetlands, saltmarsh and soils along with creating new habitats such as woodland will help us to achieve net zero and increase our resilience.
* Connect people and nature – Support communities and businesses to value and enhance the natural environment which underpins health, wellbeing and our economy.
The Devon LNP Map
As a celebration of our county’s unique wildlife, landscapes and special habitats, the Devon LNP commissioned local artist Sara Nunan to create this beautiful watercolour map of Devon. See how Devon’s rivers and hedges snake through the landscape, connecting the high moors to the towns and coastlines below. This visionary map articulates a more connected landscape, helping to visualise what we have but also how our nature can and should be more connected through a thriving Nature Recovery Network.
Click on the map to open it up to full size and explore the intricate detail hidden within! Can you spot the Dartmoor ponies, the distant hill walkers and tiny pipistrelle bats hunting along the famous Devon hedges?
By 2030 we want:
30% of Devon to be wildlife rich (double the current area) and 100% of land sustainably managed.
To be maximising the potential for sequestering carbon across our landscape and coastal waters and minimising carbon emissions from land.
To have achieved a step change in water quality and reduced flood risk across all river catchments by targeted wildlife habitat enhancements in key zones.
All Devon communities to be taking action for wildlife and have access to nature rich habitat.
Our current eleven priority themes:
These are based on the key partners / sectors that need to be involved in the LNP in order to achieve our goals. Each priority theme has a Board lead.
- Nature Recovery– wildlife / environmental organisations: Harry Barton
- Climate and resilience – Devon Climate Partnership: Harry Barton
- Natural Capital Investment – business sector: Tim Jones
- Farming with Nature – agricultural and food sector: Robin Milton
- Building with Nature – infrastructure / planning sector: Mark Williams
- Trees for Devon – forestry sector: Ross Kennerley
- Resilient Rivers and Coast – water sector: Perry Hobbs
- Sustainable Seas – marine / fisheries sector: Matt Frost
- Community & Culture – community sector: Jill Davies + culture/arts sector: Mark Wallace
- Naturally Healthy – health and wellbeing sector: Steve Brown + recreation: Alison Kohler
- Outdoor Learning – education and learning sector: Lucy Mason
For information on each of these and relevant initiatives and networks please see the Priorities and initiatives tab.
The LNP headline Action Plan sets out current priorities and actions with contacts for lead partners.
Devon LNP adds value through:
- Providing leadership, influence and one voice for Devon’s natural environment through the Board.
- Providing a shared evidence base through the Devon State of Environment report.
- Developing shared priorities through involving all partners in the development of the Devon Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) and related initiatives.
- Facilitating investment through aligning funding streams to LNRS priorities and embedding natural solutions into strategies.
- Facilitating delivery through improving networking, collaboration and communication across Devon – developing new work streams where needed.
Devon LNP’s Structure:
LNP Forum – All organisations, businesses, groups, partnerships, communities and individuals who are signed up to taking action to achieve the LNP’s goals and share experience, best practice and ideas. To join the Forum please go to our Contacts page.
Board – Board members provide leadership for the LNP identifying priorities and helping us to make connections, secure funding and influence national and local policy. Board members commit to championing the natural environment and LNP vision within their sector.
Ambassadors – Leaders, influencers and experts who are helping to promote and achieve the LNP’s vision.
Working Group – Brings together the leads for joint LNP initiatives, relevant Devon groups and representatives from key organisations to deliver our goals and discuss cross cutting issues.
Coordination – Overall coordination of the LNP is provided by Devon County Council’s Environment Team.
Thank you to the following partners for providing funding and significant in-kind support for the LNP: Devon County Council, The Woodland Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, East Devon District Council, South Hams District Council, Teignbridge District Council, North Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, West Devon Borough Council, all Devon AONBs, South West Water, Active Devon and Dartmoor National Park Authority.