Joint statement on England’s Natural and Historic Environment published by NE, HE and Lottery: ‘Integrating the Management of the Natural and Historic Environment’

Integrating the Management of the Natural and Historic Environment’ is a Joint Statement between Natural England (NE), Historic England (HE), and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).

image for illustration – Peter Badcock

… We acknowledge….the crucial role that heritage management practices can play in nature’s recovery…

Historic England writes:

We face huge challenges as a result of the climate and nature emergencies and the need to mitigate and adapt to unprecedented levels of environmental change. Government is clear that ‘initiatives to protect and improve our natural world and cultural heritage are acts of stewardship by which we discharge our debt to it, and so are moral imperatives in themselves, but they are also economically sensible’. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment and by integrating the management and protection of our historic and natural environment we can achieve much more for people, nature, places and the economy.

We recognise that nature comprises habitats, species, geology, landscape, historic features, cultural connections, and the opportunities we have to connect with the environment. We acknowledge the complex interplay of these factors and the crucial role that heritage management practices can play in nature’s recovery.

As national institutions we support local initiatives and partnerships to deliver more beautiful, sustainable, successful places that build pride in communities. We believe that our natural and historic environment offers joy and inspiration, igniting the imagination, connecting us to our past and helping to shape the future. We will work in collaboration to identify and realise these opportunities, working together in places to create benefits for people who live, work, study and visit there. We will pursue these goals at national and local levels, working across government and partners to embed the full range of changes required to ensure we achieve our ambitions of integrated delivery.

We acknowledge that past failures to understand the full suite of benefits offered by the natural and historic environment have resulted in poor choices being made, exchanging short-term, limited wins for long-term, sustainable goals. Where possible, we will use natural capital and culture and heritage capital models to identify and recognise the values of the public goods and services provided by the environment. This will enable better quality decisions that will deliver greater environmental benefits alongside better value for money. We will also seek to demonstrate the broader, non-monetary values of our natural and historic environment where they sit outside the tools provided by capital models. We will be evidence-led to ensure that we base our strategic interventions and our local decision-making on robust evidence.

We commit to act as strong advocates for the added value that integrated management approaches deliver, producing positive changes that leave a legacy to future generations of high-quality placemaking, maximising the value of environmental opportunities and minimising the inadvertent harm caused by short-term decision-making. We seek to align activities and funding at a place-based scale to achieve stronger and more sustained outcomes, particularly where it can be shown that these create public value in ways that are more efficient and effective than would be achieved by acting alone.

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