Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) are designed to improve the health of the natural environment and to support food production, reduce flood risk and increase access to nature.
A public dialogue was commissioned by Natural England with the support of UK Research and Innovation’s Sciencewise programme. The dialogue took place between March 2013 and March 2015 and aimed to embed public dialogue into local decision making for the development of integrated biodiversity, landscape and ecosystem policy and practice.
There were three areas selected for this public dialogue, with each taking a different approach based on specific local conditions. These varied approaches included: a survey; public dialogue workshops; an art installation; the development of an interactive online space; and wider engagement through local events and arts projects. A total of 434 members of the public were involved across the three projects.
The processes were delivered by a partnership of Dialogue By Design and Icarus and was independently evaluated by 3KQ.
This project informed all three localities approaches to future public engagement strategies and helped build the capacity of Natural England to understand and oversee future public dialogue events.