Update on the marine extension of the Dorset Local Nature Recovery Strategy

Update on the marine extension of Dorset Local Nature Recovery Strategy

A new Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) is being created for Dorset as a requirement of the Environment Act. The strategy will set out how everyone can play a part in making more, better, bigger and joined space for nature across the county.

The statutory guidance requires Dorset LNRS to cover Dorset Council and BCP Council areas, following their boundaries into the inter tidal zone as far as low water.

Defra had initially permitted coastal counties to do a voluntary extension further into the marine environment but very recently, in May 2024, they strengthened their position against including marine as part of the LNRS.

The reasons for this are:
• Maps and proposed activities in marine areas outside the statutory LNRS boundary will not be underpinned by legislation
• Users of the strategy must be clear on which proposals they are obliged to consider
• Having statutory and non-statutory components in the same document could cause confusion, impacting how useful the LNRS is in encouraging delivery
• Work is underway at the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to explore how spatial planning for marine nature recovery might develop in the future

In Dorset, work had started on a marine extension to 12 nautical miles (territorial sea) with lots of valuable inputs from local coastal and marine stakeholders. Thank you.

Although we are no longer permitted to include a marine extension in Dorset LNRS, we will:
• Continue using and gathering your inputs on coastal areas that fall within the statutory boundary
• Include nature recovery activities that can be done on land but also benefit marine and estuarine environments
• Work on aligning the LNRS with existing marine spatial plans
• Create a summary report of all the work and inputs relating to Dorset’s marine nature recovery to inform future work, this will be shared with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and local stakeholders via the Dorset Coast Form.

Amy Smith

Local nature Recovery Officer | Place Services | Dorset Council

Website: Dorset Local Nature Recovery




Telephone: 01305 224460

Member Advice: advice@dorset-aptc.gov.uk

Member Training: training@dorset-aptc.gov.uk

General Enquiries: info@dorset-aptc.gov.uk

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm