A £500,000 green investment scheme to support the development of four projects across the country, including the NFU’s nutrient management project at Poole Harbour in Dorset and the restoration of the Caen wetlands in North Devon has been announced by Defra, the Environment Agency (EA), Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF) and Triodos Bank UK.
The pilot scheme aims to encourage sustainable private sector investment in the environment and will support the completion of business plans to attract private sector investment and deliver long-term environmental benefits.
Environment Minister and Taunton MP Rebecca Pow said: “Ensuring we have a green recovery from coronavirus will be especially important at this time, and this collaboration provides vital financial expertise and support to create funding models which can be used by other projects up and down the country.”
Through the Poole Harbour Nutrient Management Scheme, which will receive £145,000, the NFU is supporting the farmer-led collaboration in the catchment, equipping them with tools to reduce their use of nitrates. The scheme is designed to offer both environmental benefits and productivity gains for farming businesses.
Melanie Squires, NFU South West regional director, said: “We aim to deliver significant reductions in nitrate leaching, improving water quality in Poole Harbour and the rest of the catchment. All parties with an interest in the catchment are involved in this work, which has farming and farmers at its heart.”
The other projects are natural flood management in the Wyre catchment in Lancashire and the conservation of peatlands in the Pennines.