£ 10million natural environment grant scheme open to farmers


Grants worth up to £ 100,000 are now available for projects that help tackle climate change, improve water quality or create and restore habitat.

The money comes from a £ 10million Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) and will be administered by the Environment Agency.

The application window opened on February 10 and closes at 5 p.m. on Friday March 26, 2021.

See also: Natural capital: what it is and how to make the most of it on your farm

Projects that could be eligible for the fund include:

  • Woody creation
  • Restoration of peatlands
  • Establishment of wildlife habitats
  • Generation of coastal wetlands
  • Restoration of the watershed.

Defra said the aim was to help businesses and other organizations develop nature projects in England which could then attract private investment.

For example, a new forest captures carbon, and then the carbon units (each tonne of carbon sequestered) can be sold to companies that want to offset their emissions.

Likewise, wetland creation projects can reduce the risk of flooding and attract investment from water companies.

Critical investment

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said the program will encourage critical private sector investment in the natural environment.

“Investors rightly recognize environmental factors as key value drivers,” she said.

“As we seek to rebuild more environmentally after the pandemic, I would encourage any interested companies or other organizations to bid for a portion of this fund. “

Savills Rural Research Manager Emily Norton also urged farmers to apply for the grant.

Ms. Norton explained that the fundraising approach represented a move towards encouraging follow-on investments, which may be more common in the future.

“It’s easy to see how environmental NGOs could apply for this type of subsidy and maybe less for individual farm businesses,” she said.

“However, it is critical that farmers are early adopters – perhaps as part of a joint offering with a group of other farms – as this system may be the way forward for grant funding.

“If farmers fail to engage at this stage, they may find themselves excluded from further offers like this. ”

How to register

Applications for grants, between £ 10,000 and £ 100,000, should be made through the government website.

The deadline is Friday March 26 at 5 p.m.


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