The Core zone of the NRN contains the most important sites for biodiversity in the county. The identification of the core zone of the NRN does not diminish the protection afforded to such sites through existing national and local policy, which will continue to benefit from a high level of protection.
Special Protection AreasSpecial Areas for Conservation,
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Local Nature Reserves
Local Wildlife Sites (including proposed)
Cherwell District Wildlife Sites
Oxford City Wildlife Sites
Woodland Trust woodlands
Other sites of local importance for nature conservation
All priority habitats
The core of the NRN is the main priority for nature conservation. Actions within the core zone should focus on the protection and management of important sites to support the greatest amount of biodiversity.
The recovery zone consists of Conservation Target Areas, Important Freshwater Areas and a freshwater network, with additional areas of land added to provide better connectivity.
The recovery zone is where new habitat creation and habitat restoration should be focussed. Habitat creation and restoration in this zone will better link parts of the core network, either by buffering and connecting core sites or by providing corridors or stepping-stones between core sites.
Wider Landscape Zone:
The wider countryside is still important for nature's recovery. The focus within the wider landscape zone should be on strengthening landscape character and making room for nature, including hedgerow restoration and creation, managing farmland with nature in mind or improving access to the countryside.
Preferred Policy Option
The preferred option is to identify those parts of the county that are important for establishing a well-connected ecological network and to use this mapped resource to shape the policies, define the spatial strategy and determine the spatial distribution of development in the Oxfordshire Plan. Utilising the draft Nature Recovery Network to shape the Oxfordshire Plan will ensure that future development and ecological enhancements are directed to locations where they can minimise harm and secure the greatest benefits in supporting nature's recovery and building resilience in communities and ecosystems to climate change.
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