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					NONSUCH PARK JOINT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 12 July 2001

ITEM 5

LOCAL NATURE RESERVE STATUS Report of the: Contact: Annexes/Appendices (attached): Other available papers (not attached): Principal Ecologist, London Borough of Sutton Richard Barnes Site Plan None

This report sets out the background to the proposal to declare Local Nature Reserve Status on the areas of Nonsuch Park managed for nature conservation.
Notes

RECOMMENDATION (1) That officers proceed with the process of declaring the area indicated on the attached plan as meriting Local Nature Reserve Status. That the Committee requests Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to confirm it will carry out the legal requirements of the Local Nature Reserve declaration.

(2)

1

Introduction 1.1 Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (NPAC) gives Local Authorities (LAs) the power to acquire, declare and manage nature reserves Although these are referred to as “Nature Reserves managed by Local Authorities” in NPAC, they are commonly known as Local Nature Reserves (LNRs). Sites offering special opportunities for people to see, learn about or enjoy wildlife in their natural surroundings merit LNR status, especially if this will help protect rare species, unusual habitats or important geological features. However, to qualify for LNR status, such sites must be managed with the conservation of wildlife or maintenance of special opportunity for study as the priority concern. LNR status is the highest planning protection a LA can confer on a wildlife site. It also allows the adoption of special bye-laws to protect the wildlife interest. Copies of the bye-laws for Wilderness Island LNR adopted by Sutton Council are available from the Principal Ecologist.

1.2

1.3

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NONSUCH PARK JOINT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 12 July 2001

ITEM 5

1.4

English Nature has a range of grants available for wildlife management and interpretation which are prioritised for LNRs, some exclusively. The latest is for funding Wildlife Community Liaison Officers promoting LNRs, for up to 3 years.

2

Legal Considerations 2.1 Sites must lie completely within the area of jurisdiction of the LA declaring the LNR. The LA must own or lease the site itself, or obtain a formal nature reserve agreement from the owners. The LA must formally consult English Nature on a proposed declaration. The LA can then carry out the declaration by sealing a legal document, and making available copies for public inspection free of charge. This latter fact should be advertised by public notices in local newspapers. A principal LA (such as a District Council) has the powers to declare LNRs. I recommend that the NPJMC asks EEBC to confirm that it will proceed with LNR declaration on its behalf.

2.2

2.3

3

Nonsuch Park as a LNR 3.1 The areas of Nonsuch Park managed for nature conservation are eligible for LNR status. This excludes the formal gardens, lawns, gang-mown fields, car parks, lodges and the structure of the Banqueting House (which is the only part above ground). The eligible area is shown approximately on the attached plan. Recent information approaches to English Nature indicate that they will welcome the declaration of Nonsuch Park as a LNR.

3.2

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