Somerset residents are invited to share their perspectives on which areas of nature are most important to them and why as part of a government initiative.

An online survey has been initiated to inform Somerset's Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS), aiming to provide a unified vision for nature rehabilitation in the county.

This project, backed by Defra, tasks local authorities across England, including Somerset Council, with leading the development of the LNRS.

The council is working in partnership with the Somerset Local Nature Partnership to this end.

These efforts respond to the newly released Somerset State of Nature Report, which underlines the critical need for enhanced action to halt the deterioration of nature and encourage wildlife growth in Somerset.

Famed for its remarkable wildlife and habitats, Somerset faces immediate and considerable environmental challenges.

The proposed LNRS will provide a single vision for nature recovery, alongside defining local priorities for habitat restoration and creation.

It will pinpoint suitable locations for nature restoration, and specific areas where enhancing biodiversity could have additional environmental benefits, such as carbon sequestration, flood regulation, and accessibility to nature-rich areas for health and wellness.

Broad participation is being encouraged in the shaping of the strategy.

Landowners, farmers, developers, community groups, wildlife organisations, and individual residents are all welcome to contribute, reinforcing the importance of an all-inclusive approach to this pressing matter.

Councillor Dixie Darch, Somerset Council lead member for environment and climate change said: "This government-funded Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Somerset is a crucial lifeline for our nature that will determine priorities and actions to help safeguard and improve it for future generations.

"I encourage Somerset residents from all parts of the county, rural or urban, to join in and tell us how and where nature matters to them.

"Getting involved will help shape a greener more sustainable Somerset, and ensure this new strategy meets the needs of communities, farmers, businesses, and above all, our precious wildlife."

Contribute to shaping Somerset's greener, more sustainable future by sharing your views on the LNRS.

You can learn more and take part in the survey via the Somerset Council website.