The United Kingdom’s network of 15 diverse National Parks covers about 10 percent of the nation’s land, and offers a much-loved recreation and heritage experience for many. But beyond this, the National Parks can offer something else; a key to fighting climate change.
That’s why, with less than a month to go before the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the UK’s National Parks and Palladium have launched Revere today at the EKN Natural Capital Finance & Investment Conference. Revere aims to raise £240m by 2030 for peatland, woodland, wetland and grassland restoration in all 15 National Parks and accelerate progress towards the UK’s net zero and biodiversity targets.
Revere launches with support from private sector funders which include financial services provider Santander UK, The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland, Gatwick Airport, Capita and Southern Co-op. Additional funding has been secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and DEFRA.
Revere enables the restoration of natural habitats at scale with private capital. Working closely with National Parks teams and land managers, Revere designs restoration projects and raises private capital to fund the restoration. The projects generate revenue through the sale of ecosystem services, creating new income streams for farmers and landowners seeking to improve the quality of landscapes and support biodiversity.
Revere will channel funding into several pilots across the National Parks including:
- The restoration of degraded peatland in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland which will generate revenues for landowners as well as creating verified carbon credits, with the support of Santander UK.
- The conversion of hundreds of acres of arable farmland in the South Downs National Park to woodland pasture. The restoration will be funded through the sale of carbon, biodiversity and water quality outcomes and is being supported by Gatwick Airport and Southern Co-op.
- Farmers in the Esk Valley in the North York Moors National Park are working to restore habitats and deliver natural flood defence improvements.
- In the New Forest National Park, arable land is being restored to woodland to generate nitrate reduction for better water quality and improvements in biodiversity.
Naomi Conway, Development Director, National Parks Partnerships said: “As COP26 approaches, we want to remind the UK of the role that the National Parks can play in fighting the impacts of climate change and improving biodiversity. This pioneering private sector support will get us closer to achieving the scale and pace of nature restoration that the UK so urgently needs.”
Jose Maria Ortiz, Palladium Managing Director said: “Taking effective action on climate change is urgent. In the short term, the answer is nature, while in the long term we need innovation. In both cases, investment at scale is necessary. There isn’t time for small-scale interventions anymore. The time is now for bold investments in nature with potential risks, because the alternative is continuing to destroy our planet.”
Nathan Bostock, Chief Executive Officer, Santander UK said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with National Parks and Palladium on this innovative programme of nature restoration in the UK. Through this collaboration, Santander UK will be supporting a programme of peatland restoration which will capture and lock in CO2 from the atmosphere, whilst also exploring innovative solutions for attracting private capital to fund a nationwide portfolio of nature restoration. The ambition is to demonstrate that nature restoration and carbon capture projects can be self-funding, with the potential to transform the scale and pace of this work in the UK for years to come. We look forward to growing our partnership as this journey develops.”