Government approval means boost for Norfolk and Suffolk’s wonderful nature

The government has approved the creation of a Local Nature Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk which will promote and lobby in favour of the area's stunning and economically important natural environment.

Wild Anglia has been given the go-ahead by Defra following a bid by the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership, Suffolk Biodiversity Partnership and both county councils.

The body will ensure the counties' natural environment is taken into account in decision making at all levels and will act as an advocate for nature.

It will also support other organisations including the Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts and local communities to deliver projects that will benefit the area's wildlife, communities and the economy.

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: 'I welcome the announcement of the Norfolk and Suffolk Local Nature Partnership; I see it as a key partner in helping New Anglia champion the green economy, which is very important to the economy of the two counties.'

The LNP will work alongside New Anglia, the National Trust, the Environment Agency and the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce as part of a Business and Diversity Group to ensure the counties' economic agenda is connected with their environmental goals.

Haidee Bishop, co-ordinator at Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership, said it was important to have a body able to fight in favour of nature in both counties.

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She said: 'Our natural environment needs to be future-proofed. We will see changes in the distribution of species as our climate changes and we need to ensure there is enough connected natural habitat in Norfolk and Suffolk for species to be able to move and adapt. The same is true for the threats of urban and economic development.

'Wild Anglia will work to change the perception that the natural environment is necessarily an impediment to growth and we will work with planners, developers and the business sector to do this.'

Among Wild Anglia's priorities will be the publication of a manifesto setting out its vision and aims and putting together a 'state of the environment' audit of the two counties.

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