Here’s to you. You proactive-pioneers, you environmental entrepreneurs, you planet-minded people. We thank all 776 of you who applied for our Fertilise The Future Fund.
We were truly humbled and inspired by the range of nature-based solutions to help tackle the climate crisis.
But we’ll be honest, we had no idea how hard it was going to be.
We deliberated and debated, we ruminated and reflected, until finally we chose our 21 finalists. Here they are.
Let’s fertilise the future together.
In Britain, only a handful of floodplain meadows survive. Above Oxford they follow the River Thames, covering the floodplain with a kaleidoscope of colour. Our vision is to restore more floodplain meadows along the Thames and promote their benefits throughout the UK and northern Europe. In addition to their wildflower, beauty and historic interest, restoration improves water quality, manages flood risk and increases carbon storage.
With Ecover and our partners, we will demonstrate the value of functioning meadows, increasing public understanding and appreciation, and advocating for floodplain restoration as a vital tool in tackling the climate emergency.
Climate action charity, Possible, alongside the Nature Friendly Farming Network will organise community hedgerow planting at 14 farms around the UK over 2020-2022.
We will work with farms close to urban areas to give both urban and rural communities access to green space and nature while building links between communities. The hedges planted will result in greater carbon drawdown to help tackle the climate crisis, increased habitats for nature and benefits for the local area, such as through flood defences. The project will bring many people together to get involved in, and talk about, climate action.
The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. Our Salmon in the Stour project will restore the River Stour for people and wildlife. We will teach local schools, community groups and businesses how to take care of the river and how connecting with nature improves our health and wellbeing. We will replace grey concrete features with green habitats, prevent river pollution and stop plastic reaching the sea. By adding woodlands and reedbeds the river will be able to clean itself and this will help wildlife such as salmon, otter and kingfisher to thrive. More people caring for the River Stour will help to protect it for future generations.
Kent Wildlife Trust is leading the way in using nature-based solutions to restore nature across our landscapes. We have been pioneering the use of ecosystem engineers with the introduction of beaver in 2002, and bison planned for 2022. As part of this project we want to introduce water buffalo to work alongside beaver to restore an area of ancient fenland. We will also work extensively with the local community to implement and monitor a variety of other solutions, all helping to create wilder waters that brim with wildlife, build community and catchment resilience, improve water quality and lock up carbon.
Our project will use nature to end pollution in one Norfolk river. Water quality in the River Stiffkey is poor, and the river is choking on nutrients, mostly from sewage works. We would like to build five wetlands to filter water throughout the river catchment, taking out phosphates, plastics and pharmaceuticals and locking up carbon. The wetlands will provide good habitat and clean water for the river. We have built and studied treatment wetlands before, so we know they work. We now want to use them to cleanse one whole river system, allowing it to thrive again.
The Somerset Levels were once a vast wetland. From pelicans to wildcats they would have teemed with life. Somerset Wildlands aims to bring back some of that lost wildlife through rewilding. To achieve this we’re seeking support to buy ordinary land to set aside for nature, creating a series of ‘wild stepping stones’, and we’ve identified some initial sites. Along the way we’ll develop a community of interest around rewilding, working with landowners wilding their own lands, and provide opportunities for people to engage with nature, particularly young people. We will store carbon, reduce water pollution and provide sustainable jobs.
Our project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform one of the largest conifer plantations in the UK’s Lake District National Park to wild native woodland. We will work with local volunteers and school children to plant trees, support natural regeneration of trees, and remove non-native species. Our project will protect 250,000 naturally regenerated trees and remove 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. The new woodlands will provide space for nature to recover and for people to enjoy, acting as an inspiration for the wider changes that are needed to restore biodiversity and prevent the climate emergency.
We’re facing the challenge of a lifetime – a global climate crisis. But it’s not too late to slow down climate change and the ocean has a key role to play. Seagrass meadows and kelp beds can capture carbon at up to 10 times the rate as the same area on land. Our scientists, including our Seasearch divers, who monitor these unique habitats, need your support now. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, with your help we’ll make the case for the ocean, putting it at the heart of UK carbon reduction commitments.
The Penpont project is led by 20 passionate teenagers from across the UK. In partnership with farmers, foresters, experts and local people, we are working to restore woodlands and waterways, implement sustainable food systems and increase biodiversity on a 2,000-acre estate in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. Our project is the world’s largest youth-led nature restoration initiative of its kind and will demonstrate why young people should lead nature-based solutions on the ground. We bring fresh and independent perspectives that drive radical shifts in land management and the urgency needed to tackle the climate and ecological crisis.
Tom has been working for Ecover/Method for 15 years, where he is responsible for the long-term innovation strategy and sustainability of the different categories of Ecover/Method products (laundry, cleaning, dishwashing, home care and personal care). Getting inspiration out of biomimicry and system thinking, he has been laying out an ambitious roadmap for the company to inspire transformative change towards a restorative business model. Tom is also on the board of Kringwinkel, a Belgian organisation that gives a second life to what otherwise would be waste.
Nature based solutions are solutions that seek to protect, restore and regenerate social AND ecological systems. They recognise that in order to be successful, solutions to environmental challenges need to help tackle societal issues at the same time.
We’re looking for ideas that harness the power of nature to help us fight the interlinked challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change. We realise significant investments from business and governments that fit the scale of these challenges are necessary, but we want to do our part and start a conversation. Projects could include anything from a green roof that enhances biodiversity to one that supports a larger programme around sustainable agriculture or the restoration of diverse natural ecosystems on land and in the sea. Ideas will be chosen based on the range of benefits they provide for people and planet.
We want to hear from organisations that already have a proof of concept and who are looking for funding to accelerate their scale and impact.
We have not set a defined number of grants as this is dependent on both the quantity and quality of the type of applications we receive. We are asking applicants to choose between 3 different levels of grant; 1. £10k-100k, 2. £100-£300k and 3. £300k plus. They will be allocated at our discretion. We aim to support at least 1 project in each of the 3 countries where we have a presence: the UK, Belgium and Germany.
We are currently determining who best to get involved. When we are ready to confirm, we will publish the details here on our website.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will answer your questions.
Yes you can. Although we are European based and primarily looking to have an impact in the UK, Belgium + Germany where we are most active, we are also interested in projects that have an impact beyond Europe.