In November 2019 the Sussex Local Nature Partnership adopted the Sussex Local Natural Capital Investment Strategy. This work was funded by Sussex Wildlife Trust, East Sussex County Council, Southern Water, South Downs National Park Authority, Council for the Protection of Rural England – Sussex, Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Natural England. It was written in close collaboration with a range of technical specialists in Sussex, with contributions from All Local Nature Partnership representatives. All mapping work was carried out by the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre.
This document has been developed to provide strategic, high level direction for the Sussex LNP and marks the beginning of an important process to plan and coordinate the collective investment in the natural capital of Sussex. It covers the entire geography of the counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove Unitary Authority, both on land and at sea (out to the boundary of inshore waters at six Nautical Miles). It is intended to complement existing strategies and policies within these administrative areas for the conservation of nature (not replace them) by providing a different ‘lens’ through which to understand and communicate the value of nature to society and decision-makers. This is in line with the refocussing on natural capital by Defra, as outlined in the 25 Year Plan for the Environment1.
The ultimate intention is to open up new opportunities for investment in nature. 1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/25-year-environment-plan 3 This document is not fully comprehensive and has its limitations. However, it is a first step which will require future refinement and modification as the natural capital methodology evolves and as scientific understanding and datasets grow. More detailed work will also be needed to take the broad strategy it contains, and translate this into detailed proposals for action and investment on the ground. This strategy provides: ¨ Initial understanding (based on best available data) of the natural capital of Sussex, where it is located and the raft of benefits and services it provides to people and the economy of the area. ¨ Initial strategic assessment of how best to focus effort, resources and funds to protect and enhance the stock of natural capital assets for the benefit of nature and people. ¨ Identification of opportunities to use a natural capital approach to deliver specific outputs of interest to LNP members, such as clean water, accessible nature, carbon storage and flood risk reduction. ¨ Guidance on the steps needed to take this broad spatial strategy forward into action and outcomes on the ground.