£100,000 funding awarded to measure carbon storage through rewilding and nature recovery projects

Chris Tutton Chris Tutton UKIMEA Press office,London
15 August 2022

A project team led by Arup and Knepp Estate has been awarded DEFRA funding to develop a new carbon measurement tool for land managers, funded by a £100,000 government grant, to create confidence in carbon accounting of rewilding and nature recovery projects.

For 20 years, Knepp Estate have been running one of the country’s most successful rewilding projects on their West Sussex estate. Now they will provide the testing ground for this novel project, which aims to expand existing carbon codes in the UK while simultaneously generating significant wider environmental and social benefits.

The development of the system will facilitate cost effective measurement of carbon capture at scale, with the aim of generating greater private investment in rewilding and nature recovery projects which can deliver additional benefits alongside carbon storage such as increased biodiversity.

Following the development of the tool, it will enable projects across the country to itemise, verify and sell carbon credits derived from nature recovery. This new knowledge will create confidence among buyers that offset purchases are auditable and verifiable, encouraging them to choose from a wider range of innovative rewilding options.

The funding has been awarded as part of the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF), with grants provided from DEFRA and the Environment Agency for the development of nature projects which will help attract private investment.

It will be delivered by a project team led by Knepp Estate and Arup, climate technology company Treeconomy, soil carbon experts Agricarbon, natural capital investment firm Nattergal, and Queen Mary University of London. The project hopes to use and build on data and analysis that is being generated through a Oxford University natural capital study.

The importance of working out better models of how wood pasture, scrubland and rewilding projects contribute to carbon sequestration is paramount, if we are to heal the planet. ” Charlie Burrell owner of Knepp Estate

This will address the constraints and problems we’re seeing across the UK.  Peatland restoration and tree planting are currently seen as the only two real options for verified credits in the UK, which limits flexibility for more innovative projects.  This tool will change that, helping the market incentivise the right choices for the environment and society, as well as for carbon sequestration. ” Andy Chalmers Andy Chalmers Associate Director