Bedfordshire councils work together on plans to restore nature and wildlife sites

A park

People across Bedfordshire are being urged to get involved as a countywide partnership begins to explore opportunities to restore, expand and enhance nature and wildlife habitats in the area. 

The Bedfordshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy is being developed by Central Bedfordshire Council as the lead authority, working in partnership with Luton and Bedford borough councils, the Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership and Natural England.

The strategy will consider opportunities to restore, protect and improve the natural environment across the whole of the county and identify locations where nature recovery could bring added benefits for local people and communities. 

The development of the new strategy comes at an important time. The UK is in the bottom 10% globally in terms of having a poor and diminishing natural environment.  The approach over the past 70 years has been to focus on nature conservation, preserving existing pockets of nature. This has not stopped the overall decline in nature and there has been a recognition nationally that we need to move towards nature restoration, recovery, protection and improvement.

Healthy natural environments, with a wide variety of plant and animal life, are known to be beneficial to people and communities. Studies show they have positive health and wellbeing, benefits – including to mental health (Dasgupta Review, 2021). The local economy can also be boosted by people visiting these sites.

Anyone with an interest in shaping the future of Bedfordshire’s nature can take part in an initial round of engagement at

In a joint statement, Cllr Mary Walsh, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Member for Planning; Cllr Jim Weir, Bedford Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment; and Cllr Javed Hussain, Luton Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Development and Highways, said:

 “We want to use this as an opportunity to identify how we can create bigger, better, and more joined up places for nature to thrive. We want to hear the views of people across Bedfordshire and build their views into our plans. We’re particularly keen to engage with landowners and managers, farmers, community groups, environmental charities, and government agencies. Their input will help ensure that the sites and proposals we develop are deliverable.

“We’ll use the comments received to develop a draft strategy before consulting more formally later this year. Your input will help us map out important, or potentially important, sites and set our priorities for this vital piece of work.”

For further information and to share your views please visit

Related news