Dorset Local Nature Partnership

What area does the Dorset LNP cover?

The Dorset LNP covers the Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole and Dorset council areas.

Dorset LNP’s Strategy and Vision

Dorset LNP adopted its first Strategy and Vision in March 2014 and refreshed it in 2023.

Dorset LNP Strategy and Vision (to be added shortly)


Dorset LNP exists to support, facilitate, and enable the working of a range of bodies across the public, private and third sector to improve nature, and address the challenges above. In doing so we act as a conduit for a range of parties including Local Authorities, Healthcare Services, Land Management, and others to find the best way forward as co-collaborators in nature-based solutions.


The Dorset LNP seeks a future where:

  • Dorset’s outstanding natural value is further celebrated, enhanced, and invested in. Dorset’s world-class terrestrial, coastal and marine environment is what makes Dorset a great place to live, work and visit but could, should, and will be even better than it is now.
  • Dorset’s natural environment is richer in quality, diversity, and resilience. Dorset’s wildlife sites become bigger, better, and joined up. Soils and watercourse become healthier, providing a measurable reversal to species decline as well as greater hope in the face of future change and challenge.
  • Dorset’s communities have increased understanding of and better access to Dorset’s environment, both for its own sake and for the benefits it offers them, such as more locally produced food, community projects and sensitively managed land.
  • Dorset’s environment contributes to and benefits from development of a low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive economy in which greener business practices are a matter of course.
  • Local planning and policy systems routinely recognise the benefit of a biodiverse environment and habitat improvements which benefit both human communities and nature, allowing Dorset to be a beacon of excellence others wish to emulate.
  • Nature-based solutions are a go-to option for climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity recovery, and health and wellbeing, meaning that not only locally are individuals and communities enriched, but also that Dorset’s impacts on the global environment are reduced.

The Six Pillars

In line with our vision, we have six strategic areas of nature-based focus.

Natural capital – investing investment

Dorset has some exceptional natural assets which already underpin the economic and social wellbeing of the county, yet it is still declining in quality and quantity and needs greater investment. We will facilitate funding and lobby for more. The outcomes we are seeking include:

  • Healthier natural systems which are managed in an integrated way.
  • Bigger, better and more joined up wildlife sites.
  • Moving from a net loss of biodiversity to achieving net gains for nature.
  • Secure and stable support for the good management of the farmed and marine environment.
  • Demonstrable improvements in the quality and accessibility of green and blue infrastructure in urban and rural areas.
  • Maintenance and enhancement of high-quality landscapes in which change is well managed.
  • Demonstrable improvements in the condition of heritage assets.

Natural economy – adding value

A healthy environment is a pre-requisite for a healthy economy globally and locally, it offers opportunities for sustainable economic resilience which does not erode our natural capital. We will support the development of nature-based economic schemes and maximise green finance opportunities.  The outcomes we are seeking include:

  • A transition to a low carbon, sustainable economy in which every business is a greener business.
  • Development of low impact business opportunities with reduced transport related impacts which contribute to a healthy environment.
  • Support for the development of local, sustainable products and produce.
  • More efficient and effective use being made of scarce natural resources, particularly land, water and energy sources.
  • Productive agriculture which contributes to a healthy and attractive environment and sustainable management of fisheries.
  • Sustainable tourism which contributes to the continued good management of the high-quality environment on which it depends.
  • Secure and affordable energy supplies making more effective use of locally available, appropriate renewable sources of energy.
  • Reductions in waste in all its forms and further increases in the reuse and recycling of waste as a resource to be used rather than disposed of.
  • Realising the economic, social and cultural potential of heritage assets which reduce resource use and reinforce local distinctiveness.
  • An environment which proves attractive to business investors and helps retain and attract the skilled employees needed to meet Dorset’s economic aspirations.
  • Job creation in, for example, green technologies and rural communities where natural resources are concentrated.
  • Enhance the workforce skills to benefit the environment.
  • A new understanding of ‘growth’ which takes account of wider considerations beyond simply measuring Gross Domestic Product.

Naturally healthy – developing Dorset’s ‘natural health service’

Working with the healthcare system, providers, and land managers, we will aid collaboration to improve access to and connection with nature, build green infrastructure and support better information on how to use the natural world to live better and reduce inequalities.  The outcomes we are seeking include:

  • Improved physical connectivity between open spaces and access to the environment making a measurable improvement in public health and reducing the costs associated with health treatments.
  • A reduction of health inequalities through improved access to the environment in areas and communities where there is currently a deficit.
  • Promotion of access to nature as both a remedy and a preventative medicine for a wide range of physical and mental health conditions.
  • An increase in healthy outdoor activities.

Natural resilience – improving environmental and community resilience

In the light of a challenging future, and the impact on health, we will work collaboratively to improve both resilience against and adaption to climate change to enable a sustainable future. We will support local schemes to improve diets and reduce food waste, sensitive farming practices and facilitate greater engagement with the soil that sustains us all.  The outcomes we are seeking include:

  • More widespread adoption of landscape scale approaches to extending and joining up natural areas as the best means of improving their resilience to future change.
  • More working with rather than against natural processes in areas like coastal change and river basin management.
  • Adoption of catchment-based approaches to managing the water environment, applying lessons learnt from pilot schemes operating in Dorset already to reduce diffuse pollution, conserve soil, maintain water quality and help manage flood water.
  • More effective action to manage the risks associated with a changing climate, such as the spread of non-native invasive species and diseases, the accelerated impacts of coastal erosion and the increased incidence of flooding and other extreme weather events.
  • Promotion of shorter, more local supply chains for key resources such as food and energy, to improve our resilience to future shocks and promote sustainable local produce in the process.
  • A secure and sustainable future for land-based industries.
  • A high-quality built environment meeting increasingly high standards of sustainable construction, waste reduction, water and energy efficiency in new and existing development, and in which sustainable travel options are promoted.
  • Effective management of increased demand for public access to sensitive and vulnerable environments.
  • Support for more sustainably managed fisheries with minimal damage to the habitats on which those fisheries depend.
  • A spatial planning system which is proactive in the way in which it seeks to deliver landscape scale, ecological networks that are able to withstand the pressures of climate change.

Natural understanding – improving engagement in Dorset’s environment

Dorset residents and visitors already value their environment. We will support and develop greater understanding of the impacts we have on the terrestrial and marine environment to ensure good stewardship now and in the future.  The outcomes we are seeking include:

  • Clear and accurate quantification of the health benefits, the economic value of, and the costs of providing, environmental goods and services.
  • Regularly updated, accessible and authoritative evidence on the health and value of Dorset’s environment.
  • More effective identification and fulfilment of opportunities for individuals and communities to get engaged in caring for and improving the environment.
  • A greater focus in formal education on the value of the environment and its importance to economic and social wellbeing.
  • More use being made of Dorset’s environment as a ‘living textbook’ through outdoor education, and greater opportunities for environment and wildlife education inside and outside the classroom.
  • Improvement in the co-ordination and delivery of local environmental improvements with support for the development of Dorset’s vital network of environmental and conservation volunteers.

Natural influence – embedding natural value in policy and decision-making

A founding principle of all LNPs is that we will promote the value of the natural environment in decisions and inform local and national policy making.  The outcomes we are seeking include:

  • More accurate and transparent accounting for environmental costs and benefits in the planning and decision-making process
  • Widespread adoption of the concept of ‘natural value’ in the planning and decision-making process
  • An holistic approach to planning and development which takes account of the need to maintain and create quality natural and historic environments near where people live, and space for wildlife to get food and shelter in a changing environment
  • Greater awareness of the impacts of the decisions we take as consumers on the environment, and more sustainable choices being made as a result
  • Dorset’s ‘ecological footprint’ being reduced over time both locally and globally

Role of Dorset LNP