National Park announces major green finance scheme for business sector to accelerate nature recovery

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Adonis Blue Butterfly in South Downs National Park by Daniel Greenwood
Adonis Blue Butterfly in South Downs National Park by Daniel Greenwood

The fight against biodiversity loss took a major step forward today as the South Downs National Park announced a new nature recovery scheme for businesses of all sizes.

The South Downs becomes the first National Park in the UK to open up a formal scheme for voluntary biodiversity gain to the private sector – meaning that firms of any size across England can invest in high-ethic, effective nature recovery.

The announcement was made today as delegates from across the sector gathered at the National Park’s headquarters for a summit on ways to accelerate nature recovery through green finance.

The Voluntary Biodiversity Credits scheme is the latest among a growing package of green finance measures being offered by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Over 500 hectares – equivalent to more than 800 football pitches – of land on farms and country estates across Hampshire and Sussex have already been earmarked for biodiversity restoration through future green finance investment.

Three years ago the National Park Authority launched its ReNature campaign to create 13,000 hectares of brand-new habitat to help nature thrive.

Since launching the ReNature Campaign, the National Park has:

  • helped to create over 400 hectares of new wildlife habitat (almost 640 football pitches) to help nature flourish
  • 4,312 hectares of existing habitat has been improved for nature – an area bigger than the city of Portsmouth.
  • created or restored 14 ponds which provide crucial habitats for so many of our species.
  • In the last five years over 60,000 trees have been planted across 114 different sites.
  • More than 66 hectares (106 football pitches) of wildflower habitat has been created.

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