The Improvement Programme for England’s Natura 2000 (IPENS), supported by European LIFE+ funding, is enabling Natural England, the Environment Agency, and other key partners to plan what, how, where and when to target their efforts on Natura 2000 sites and the areas surrounding them. As part of the IPENS programme, themed action plans are being developed for certain cross-cutting or complex issues, to complement the Site Improvement Plans for each Natura 2000 site. ‘Theme plans’ are high-level plans which aim to improve the way in which a key issue for the Natura 2000 network is managed. Theme plans can provide an over-arching direction or outline approaches to achieve target conservation status of Natura 2000 sites in England, to complement work already underway on individual sites. The plans have been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders and delivery bodies and draw on evidence gathered during the course of the IPENS programme, but do not have a legal or political status and do not constitute a systematic evidence review. They are to inform action and initiatives of Natural England and its partners to help achieve the objectives of Natura 2000.