The New Forest National Park Authority has been awarded £100,000 to develop a project that will drive private investment in nature and help tackle the climate crisis.
Working in partnership with Palladium, a company specialising in identifying innovative solutions to environmental issues, the National Park Authority will use the funding to develop and trial a new model that can contribute to restoring nature in the National Park, with potential to replicate the approach across the UK.
The pilot project involving the Barker-Mill and Cadland Estates will look at where arable farmland and low-quality grasslands could be turned into woodlands and wetlands to enhance nature, capture carbon, improve water quality and extend these benefits to the Open Forest.
The project will then work out how much economic value these environmental benefits provide for people, what they cost to deliver, and how much investment is needed to get started. This model will contribute to the creation of a green market for environmental services and will stimulate private sector funding for nature improvements in the National Park.
The New Forest NPA is one of 27 organisations across England awarded up to £100,000 each as part of this ground-breaking £10 million Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund from Defra, the Environment Agency and Natural England.
The funding will be used to develop the projects to the point they can provide a return on investment by capturing the value of carbon sequestration, water quality improvements, biodiversity and other benefits provided by natural assets such as woodlands, peatlands, river catchments and landscapes.