Natural England was established by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. Its function is to ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced and managed for the benefit of present and future generations.
It was formed by bringing together English Nature, the landscape, access and recreation elements of the Countryside Agency, and the environmental land management functions of the Rural Development Service (part of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Natural England began work on 2 October 2006 and was officially launched on 11 October. It is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
English Nature was a key partner in a number of projects all of which have part-funding from the LIFE-Nature fund, part of the LIFE Programme, which is a European Community initiative which provides funding to encourage sustainable development and assist in the implementation of the European Commission's environmental policies and which supports the positive management and enhancement of sites of European importance for nature conservation, collectively known as the Natura 2000 series of sites. These projects were: The New Forest LIFE project; the Limestone Country LIFE project; The Ravine WoodLIFE project; the Mid Cornwall Moors LIFE project; the Salisbury Plain LIFE project; the LIFE in UK Rivers project ; the Living with the Sea project; and the UK Marine SACs project.
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