Nature calls for Santander, Gatwick Airport and Capita

By John Pinching
Santander UK, Gatwick Airport, Southern Co-op and Capita announced as key funders of pioneering nature restoration projects

With less than a month to go before the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the UK’s National Parks and global impact firm Palladium have announced a number of pioneering deals with major global companies and government agencies for nature restoration projects in the UK.

Initial private sector funders include financial services provider Santander UK, Gatwick Airport, Capita and Southern Co-op. Meanwhile, additional funding has been secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and DEFRA. 

The facility, Revere, has been developed to enable the restoration of natural habitats at scale with private capital. Revere designs restoration projects with National Parks teams and land managers 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 and Southern Co-op.
  • Farmers in the Esk Valley in the North Yorkshire 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 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.”

The UK has a total of 15 National Parks – 10 in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland. They contain almost a quarter (24%) of the UK’s peatland, offering a significant opportunity for carbon storage. But the UK’s peatlands are mostly degraded with just one fifth remaining in a near-natural state.

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.”

The UK has a total of 15 National Parks – 10 in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland. They contain almost a quarter (24%) of the UK’s peatland, offering a significant opportunity for carbon storage. But the UK’s peatlands are mostly degraded with just one fifth remaining in a near-natural state.

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