23 July 2012
Natural England’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2011/12 is available on our website and details the many steps we’ve taken to turn the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper into reality.
This year’s report highlights the contribution of local communities. For example, Natural England is supporting local groups in the creation of 12 Nature Improvement Areas partnerships; local communities are more involved than ever before in the running of National Nature Reserves (NNRs); and more people are visiting thanks to an ever increasing number of activities on offer.
In addition to forging new partnerships Natural England is developing its long-standing relationships with farmers and land managers. Our local advisers completed a record number of new Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements in 2011-12, putting record levels of investment into the rural economy, including the largest ever HLS agreement covering 16,000 hectares of the New Forest National Park and an 11,000 hectare agreement with 360 commoners on Dartmoor. Farmers in expiring schemes are signing up to Environmental Stewardship in large numbers, with around 86% of Environmentally Sensitive Area and Countryside Stewardship Scheme land being converted into ES agreements.
"Other highlights this year include the successful completion of the formal Marine Conservation Zone Advice Package; putting in place the first stretch of the All England coastal path; and the continued improvement in the condition of Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Conserving and enhancing the natural environment is a big job, and we are grateful to all the tens of thousands of individuals and organisations throughout the year who’ve worked with us. We’re determined to continue to improve the way we work to better support our customers and partners.