We have reached the point where the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis are urgent threats to both nature and human society.
Rewilding Britain wants to see a mosaic of species-rich habitats restored and connected across at least 30% of Britain’s land and sea by 2030. Rewilding Britain’s vision for achieving 30% by 2030 is to expand the scale, quality and connectivity of our native habitats, including regenerative land management and farming.
There is a business case for rewilding but there are still many unknowns. While some farmers and institutional landowners have experience of making such changes, the practical evidence is patchy and the funding for innovation can be hard to find.
The Rewilding Innovation Fund was established as a result of the rapidly growing thirst for information, advice and funding for rewilding as an alternative approach to the management of the land and sea.
Launched in 2021 with seed funding from EET, the fund fills a gap by providing support for innovative and riskier rewilding projects with the potential for highest impact that find it difficult to access funding elsewhere.
Catalyst for innovation
The Innovation Fund aims to develop and grow the scale and ambition of projects within the Rewilding Network: a pioneering and collaborative hub of coastal initiatives, landowners, land managers, farmer clusters and community groups.
Successful applicants feed back key learnings and new ideas into the Rewilding Network community to build a resource of practical information for rewilders, including how to:
- develop and trial data collection for rewilding projects
- take an experimental approach that generates practical research, including monitoring frameworks and technology
- model carbon sequestration, improve carbon code for rewilding projects, and inject more carbon finance opportunities
- increase community engagement through engaging local communities and neighbouring landowners
- conduct feasibility studies, business and financial planning that sets the foundation for securing larger funding
Case studies from the winning projects are available on the Rewilding Britain blog here.
A blueprint for financing rewilding
The ecosystem of support for rewilding approaches is constantly changing. Research of different financing options (public, private, nature-based economies) has highlighted gaps in provision, hindering the pace and scale of rewilding that is needed.
The Innovation Fund is breathing life into opportunities: enabling projects and individuals to get started, giving confidence to embryonic projects, and helping them reach the point where they can access further funding.
“EET’s support has been critical in acting as a catalyst for early stage and innovative rewilding initiatives.”
Rebecca Wrigley, CEO, Rewilding Britain
Practical and scalable solutions
The funding and support from EET has enabled Rewilding Britain to strengthen relationships with its Rewilding Network members and increase membership.
The fund has also improved the diversity of the Rewilding Network, allowing the charity to support and promote community-led initiatives.
All learnings from the Innovation Fund are shared across the Rewilding Network. The Fund itself is evolving as Rewilding Britain learns from the process and its outcomes.
The team have ambitious plans for the Fund, including an annual award, enabling them to fund higher risk innovation projects that could have a big impact on catalysing rewilding in Britain.