Achieving more for nature

Lincolnshire landscapes

Take a virtual tour of Greater Lincolnshire and discover the natural and geological features of your area, as well as local conservation projects taking place near you.

Nature Improvement Areas

In the Natural Environment White Paper (2011), the Government set out a vision for Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) to be created wherever the opportunities or benefits are greatest, driven by the knowledge and vision of local partners.

What is an NIA?

Nature Improvement Areas are landscape-scale initiatives that aim to ensure land is used sustainably to achieve multiple benefits for people, wildlife and the local economy. The concept was first described and referred to as "Ecological Restoration Zones" in the Making Space for Nature review. Shortly after,12 government-funded ‘pilot’ NIAs were established in 2012; one of which, the Humberhead Levels, lies partly within Greater Lincolnshire.

The Partnership holds a firm view about the potential for NIAs to achieve more for nature and the local economy. DEFRA has provided guidance on the identification of local NIAs, which has been developed to be appropriate to our local situation. It is believed that NIAs should:

  • Be dynamic in essence, facilitating enhancements that improve the vitality of local businesses, communities and nature. They are not intended to capture a snapshot in time or be yet another barrier to business growth.
  • Improve public access, but only where appropriate, and not to the detriment of wildlife or business.
  • Mean that those working within an NIA partnership, including agricultural businesses, are more likely to attract funding for operations that benefit nature.

What happens next?

The Partnership have now agreed a process for selecting new NIAs in our area, the application pack can be downloaded from the menu on the left of this page. Greater Lincolnshire has a number of areas that would benefit from being selected as an NIA, however it is important that partnership working across a range of stakeholders can be demonstrated before NIA status is considered.

Applications can be made at anytime and if you think your landscape initiative should become a Nature Improvement Area get in touch  with the Team .