Cornwall, Buckinghamshire, Manchester, Northumberland and Cumbria local authorities have been selected by the government to help kick-start nature recovery on a countrywide scale.
The selected authorities will receive a share of £1 million of funding to set up pilot studies to help map the most valuable sites and habitats for wildlife in their area and identify where nature can be restored.
This could see the creation of wildflower habitat for pollinators, green spaces for people, or new woodlands and wetlands which are important for both healthy communities and in the fight against climate change.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow commented: “These first pilots will be a key part of our green recovery and help kick-start the creation of over a million acres of joined-up habitats that people can enjoy across the country.”
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: “If we wish to have rich and abundant wildlife, more carbon captured in trees, soil and hedges, better protection from extreme weather and enough places for people to gain the wellbeing benefits of good quality green spaces, then we must invest in Nature’s recovery and at scale.”