Last edited 15 Mar 2023

Local nature reserve LNR


[edit] Introduction

Local Nature Reserves (LNR) are locally-important sites for wildlife, geology, education and enjoyment that are afforded conservation protection under UK legislation.

There are 1500 Local Nature Reserves in England and the location and site information for each can be found on the Natural England website. The Scottish Natural Heritage website has a map with linked site information for each of the Scottish sites and sites in Wales can be found on the Landmap site.

[edit] Designation

Local Nature Reserves are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. This act states that the sites are for:

“preserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of special interest in the area and/or for providing opportunities for the study of, and research into, those features”.

The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 also specifies that Local Nature Reserves should provide opportunities for public enjoyment and/or open-air recreation.

Local Nature Reserves can be created by any local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as English town and parish councils if they have been given the power by the district council.

Prior to declaring a Local Nature Reserve, Natural England should be consulted and following this, it is necessary for the site to be formally declared through a declaration document and once declared and accepted, the site should be announced in the local press.

[edit] Management

Local Nature Reserves are controlled by the local authority either through ownership, a lease or a management agreement. The sites must be managed appropriately and ideally should be accessible to visitors.

It is possible for local authorities and town/parish councils to create byelaws within the site boundary to help protect it.

It is possible for Local Nature Reserves to be protected against damaging operations and also against development in, or around them. This protection is typically provided by the Local Plan, produced by the local authority. The level and type of protection afforded varies between sites.

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