A Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is an area of natural beauty where the main aim is to conserve and enhance the environment for the benefit of wildlife and people. Environments include native wildlife (flora and fauna), historical and cultural artefacts all sitting within the visual landscape. LNRs recognise the legal and traditional rights of people, both local and visiting, to access and enjoy these areas, and seek to balance and integrate these with the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment.
LNRs can encompass all sorts of habitats, including semi-natural woodland, meadow grassland, heath land, river corridors, coastal headlands, and former quarries. The area covered by LNRs acts as an important resource for wildlife, contributing significantly towards biodiversity within the UK.
A Nature Reserve is defined in Section 15 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, as:
“Land managed for the purpose of:
(a) providing, under suitable conditions and control, special opportunities for the study of, and research into, matters relating to the flora and fauna of Great Britain and the physical conditions in which they live, and for the study of geological and physiographical features of special interest in the area; or
(b) Preserving flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features of special interest in this area; or for both these purposes.”
LNRs are important within the context of Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs). Many afford the opportunity for community involvement, being popular places for recreation and enjoying natural surroundings, and are particularly important in an educationally, being used by schools, colleges and institutes of higher education.
|Untitled ??||Llangoed Commons||Wylfa Head|
|Coed Cyrnol||Cytir Mawr, Llandegfan||The Dingle, Llangefni|
Potential LNRs are usually identified by members of the local community, the local Town or Community Council, and are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
1) High natural interest in the local context (Site of Special Scientific Interest - SSSI - or near equivalent).
2) Natural interest and of high value in the County/Community context for formal education or research.
3) Natural interest and of high value in the County/Community context for the informal enjoyment of nature by the public.
4) Any combination of 1-3.
5) Capable of being managed with the conservation of nature as a priority.
The 1949 Act requires that there is consultation with the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) at two levels:
1) Informal consultation and comment on the draft management plan.
2) Formal consultation initiated by the declaring authority.
In Anglesey, other organisations that may be consulted include, but are not limited to, Town or Community Councils, the Local Authority, local residents, relevant landowners, the National Trust, the RSPB, Coed Cymru, the Forestry Commission, the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, CADW and the North Wales Wildlife Trust.
LNRs are declared by the Local Authority under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949. In Anglesey, the adopted approach for the declaration of LNRs makes use of the Local Government Act, 1972, which allows Local Authorities to delegate to a Town or Community Council the power to declare a LNR. The declaring authority must have a legal interest in the land in order for a LNR to be established.
LNRs should be managed so that any features of special interest are maintained. Management plans are compiled for each LNR, describing the habitat, features of interest, practical management actions, timescales etc. A management committee is then set up which comprises the declaring authority, Menter Môn and landowners within the reserve. Other organisations may be co-opted onto the committee as management advisers. The LNRs also have voluntary wardens - local people who generally keep an eye on the reserves. Some of their duties include checking the condition of paths, bridges etc., noting issues and incidents that need to be addressed, and reporting activities such as dog fouling and fly-tipping.
Funds can be obtained from a variety sources. The following list is not exhaustive:
1) Menter Môn. The declaration of LNRs on Anglesey may be funded through Menter Môn. Funds for the design, manufacture and installation of information and interpretation materials may be applied for through Menter Môn.
2) Funds for capital projects and maintenance may be sought from the following sources, either through Menter Môn or independently:
a) The Rural Development Plan: European Structural Funds. 2008 to 2013.
b) Countryside Council for Wales: CCW grants can be applied for up to 50% of costs of maintenance work on an annual basis. CCW grants are discretionary but priority is given to the support of LNRs.
c) Community Landfill Fund: Funds can be sought through a registered Environmental Body such as Menter Môn. These funds can be used to match funds from most other sources.
d) Forestry Commission: Management can be carried out under the Better Woodlands for Wales Scheme (BWW).
e) Sustainable Development Fund: a Welsh Assembly Government fund specifically for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
f) Environment Wales: A Welsh Office scheme for funding environmental projects - especially community led projects.
g) The Big Lottery Fund: A Lottery Fund application may be considered.
For more information on Anglesey’s Local Nature Reserves, please contact the Project Officer, Leah Williams.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01248 725700.