Natural England is an independent public body whose purpose is to protect and improve England’s natural environment and encourage people to enjoy and get involved in their surroundings.
Its reach extends across the country - working with people such as farmers, town and country planners, researchers and scientists, and the general public on a range of schemes and initiatives.
The aim is to create a better natural environment that covers all of our urban, country and coastal landscapes, along with all of the animals, plants and other organisms.
Ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and fauna, freshwater and marine environments, geology and soils, are protected and improved.
It also has a responsibility to help people enjoy, understand and access the natural environment.
Designating Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Managing certain National Nature Reserves
Overseeing access to open country and other recreation
Enforcing the associated regulations.
It is also responsible for the administration of numerous grant schemes and frameworks that finance the development and conservation of the natural environment.
It is responsible for the delivery of some of Defra's Public Service Agreements (e.g. reversing the long-term decline in the number of farmland birds by 2020 and improving public access to the countryside).
A healthy natural environment
Enjoyment of the natural environment
Sustainable use of the natural environment
A secure environmental future
State of the natural environment
In May 2008, Natural England published a report, "State of the Natural Environment", which brought together statistics and facts about England's environment. The report was intended to be used by environmental organisations as a benchmark and source for policy development. It complements reports produced by other organizations:
Environmental facts and figures Environment Agency
Heritage counts English Heritage
State of the UK's birds RSPB
State of Britain's butterflies Butterfly Conservation
Natural England is funding eight demonstration green exercise projects through local regional partnerships. The main aim is to increase levels of physical activity and people's connections to their local green spaces.
Natural England is promoting the concept of Green Infrastructure as a way to deliver a wide range of benefits for people and the natural environment together. It believes that Green Infrastructure should be delivered via the spatial planning system, as an integral part of new development everywhere. They[who?] say it should also form a key part of proposals to regenerate existing urban areas.
Natural England is working with partners in the Growth Areas, Growth Points and proposed Eco-towns to prepare and implement Green Infrastructure strategies and demonstrate good practice on the ground.