What is a Local Nature Partnership or LNP?
The government wants to encourage a wider range of people to be involved in how decisions are made about the natural environment in their local area. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has given a small amount of funding to help develop 47 Local Nature Partnerships across the country.

A successful application was made by the Northern Upland Chain, a cross-Protected Area Local Nature Partnership comprising; Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Northumberland National Park , North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Yorkshire Dales National Park.
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At this stage, we do not have a definite idea of how the Local Nature Partnership will operate. We have been given some guidance from Defra, but we need to decide for ourselves what is needed to create a Local Nature Partnership for the Northern Upland Chain. Broadly, we expect the partnership to:

1. Develop funding bids to support landscape-scale projects
2. Coordinate and streamline existing activities through sharing best practice
3. Raise awareness about the health benefits and value of the natural environment to communities and the local economy

LNP area
What area will the Northern Upland LNP cover?
The Local Nature Partnership area covers a unique upland ecosystem as coloured yellow in the map on the right. The other colours belong to neighbouring LNP's at a similar stage of development. The Northern Upland Local Nature Partnership includes the whole of:

1. Northumberland National Park
2. Tyne Gap
3. North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
4. Yorkshire Dales National Park
5. Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
How we developed the partnership?
During the capacity building stage, we worked with the Countryside Training Partnership to develop the Local Nature Partnership and identified how we could prepare an application to the government. An important part of the process was holding three workshops with invited representatives from key organisations.
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Bolton Abbey Workshop ~ 7th March 2012

We recognised that this is the start of developing the Local Nature Partnership and it will not be fully formed in the few short months before the application was completed. We hope the workshops are part of the groundwork to help define the vision for the Northern Upland Chain Local Nature Partnership.
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To read more about what we discussed in the workshops click here
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Hexham Workshop ~ 9th March 2012

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Bowes Museum ~ 24th April ~ 2012

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Where are we up to?
We have developed the Local Nature Partnership concept, assisted by one-off funding received from Defra. We submitted our application to Defra on Friday 1st June in advance of the 6th June deadline.

T
he final copy of our submission can be found by clicking here.

Once applications have been assessed, the first formal Local Nature Partnerships will be announced in summer 2012.