• There is a strong local appetite to be involved in more nature restoration in England’s protected landscapes but lack of resource is cited as a significant hindrance.• Monitoring is essential to track the progress of nature recovery outcomes and restoration interventions. This large-scale survey shows that in England’s protected landscapes local monitoring is limited, ad hoc, and not yet strongly linked to strategic outcomes frameworks.• Where local monitoring activity is evident, for example in thriving Citizen Science projects, the data appears to be infrequently reported back to any nationally co-coordinating body, implying the lack of a suitable feedback channel.• Local projects tend to organise themselves around short-term, fund-seeking activities, and monitoring is rarely a significant component of the project lifespan.• Whilst there is marked traction around the concepts of Local Nature Recovery Strategies, there is less engagement with the more abstract and technical terms of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

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Research and Innovation