Improved funding for land managers and farmers to grow more trees
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Six nature-based solutions projects will receive funding to research how nature-rich woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and urban habitats take up carbon
Six pioneering nature projects across England receive major funding award to trial the most effective ways to capture carbon and mitigate the impacts of climate change, Natural England has announced.
Operating at a landscape scale of over 500 hectares each, the six projects will restore landscapes across England – from Plymouth to Northumberland – and assess how carbon is captured and stored across different habitats such as grasslands, forests, wetlands and hedgerows.
Many of the solutions to climate change are all around us in the natural world. From trees, hedges and grasslands that absorb carbon from the air to the peat-rich soils that hold it in the ground, there are huge opportunities to catch carbon while achieving other benefits at the same time, including increasing our ability to adapt to climate change impacts. The simple fact is that when it comes to our net zero ambitions Nature is our biggest ally and more we can do to restore it the better.
Getting the scale of benefits we need requires working together collaboratively across entire landscapes. This is only going to be possible if we forge broad partnerships and this is increasingly the case as different sectors see that they are all part of the solution to the climate and Nature challenges that the world and this country are setting out to meet”.
In the face of increasing climate extremes, using nature-based solutions that restore and work with natural processes is a powerful tool that can help protect us from the devastating impact of drought, floods and wildfires.
The collective ambition to restore nature at a landscape scale, alongside the right financial incentives, will create a more resilient approach which is needed to address the urgent challenges of nature loss and climate change”.
Resilient forests, woods and trees are vital for capturing carbon in the fight against climate change and improving biodiversity to aid nature recovery.
We are working with project partners on the creation and management of woodlands across these landscapes to help treble tree planting to 7,500 hectares per year by the end of this parliament with a goal of reaching 16.5% tree cover by 2050.
Through this programme we will gain new insights into the factors that affect how trees capture carbon, over the short and long term, in a variety of different habitats and sites. This will build on the excellent work by Forest Research and other organisations on the subject”.
We at Kew are delighted to be part of this transformative landscape research investment.
We hope our innovative research at Wakehurst will provide vital and valuable data for both the government and our new partner sites, offering essential scientific evidence for the ability of biodiverse landscapes to sequester carbon above and belowground to benefit people and the economy.
Nature-based solutions – which tackle societal challenges in ways that benefit both people and nature – can remove CO₂ from the atmosphere and halt emissions from degraded natural sites and agricultural land. Testing the effectiveness of different landscapes in acting as carbon sinks will be crucial in meeting the UK’s climate goals.
Analysis and information from the pilot sites will be used to better inform habitat creation and contribute to tackling climate change. Each project will also look how best to blend public and private sources of funding to support further delivery of their landscape-scale plans for improving the natural environment.
Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change at the Landscape Scale is a partnership led by Natural England with the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew at Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex. It demonstrates the power of collaborative working to understand the value of nature-based solutions in tackling climate change and will deliver against the government’s Environmental Improvement Plan.
The organisations will work alongside project partners to expand scientific evidence on greenhouse gas emissions, create sustainable funding opportunities for landscape scale projects, and provide additional data to inform the development of robust carbon standards, such as the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Code.
The Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change Programme is a £12.5 million programme first established in 2021 which is funded by the Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund, and cosponsored by Defra and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. The fund seeks to increase cross-government collaboration and address society’s most challenging problems including biodiversity loss, climate change and land use change.
In addition to establishing the partner sites, the funding is enabling Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission and Kew to undertake further scientific research into the value of nature-based solutions and green finance models.
Researchers at Kew’s wild botanic garden, Wakehurst will research the value of broadleaf, coppiced and coniferous woodlands in building resilience to climate change. Using drones, they will measure plant biomass alongside greenhouse gas flux, and undertake soil fungal research to consider how different biodiverse habitats sequester carbon.
Natural England scientists are also assessing carbon and biodiversity both on the new habitats and assessing the carbon and biodiversity benefits of earlier habitat creation and restoration projects.
The Programme will run until March 2024.
In partnership with Tilhill, the UK’s leading provider of nature based solutions, CarbonStore can help you deliver new woodland creation and woodland-based carbon mitigation projects that not only achieves the highest possible standards in carbon offsetting but also offers many widespread benefits which we can all enjoy.
Please contact David McCulloch, the head of CarbonStore, personally either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (07500 950832).