The natural heritage of the North East LNP area is distinctive and a significant asset for the region.
Stretching from the Scottish to the Yorkshire borders and including lowland, coastal and marine environments the North East England Nature Partnership (NEENP) area boasts hugely important landscapes supporting a diverse range of biodiversity, including species and habitats of international and national importance. It includes seascapes, world significant coastlines, river valleys, ancient woodland filled coastal denes, rural agricultural landscapes, and internationally important peatland and heathland. There is a rich and important diversity of priority habitats and species including large areas of internationally important habitats such as magnesian limestone grasslands and coastal sand dunes and significant sites of some of the UK’s most endangered habitats including coastal heathland, lowland fen and saltmarsh. It also supports iconic and endangered species such a red squirrels, kittiwakes, puffins and water voles.
The area includes a vast array of environmental assets:
- 2 Heritage Coastlines
- 4 Ramsar sites
- 6 special protection areas
- 10 special areas for conservation
- 7 national nature reserves
- 133 SSSI
- 725 Local Wildlife Sites
The priority habitat and species lists produced by Durham and Northumberland Biodiversity Partnerships still drive the work of the NEENP and are used to set the strategic direction for conservation and enhancement of the natural environment. The lists continued to be maintained and habitat definitions and condition assessments are used within the Local Site designation process.
The Natural Environment Group has been established to provide advice on the natural environment to the NEENP Board in order for the partnership to realise its environmental vision. The Group is responsible for developing a landscape-scale framework for biodiversity conservation, building on the work undertaken previously by the biodiversity partnerships.