Rewilding Britain – Commercial Rewilding in the UK?
Rewilding could be the key to improving biodiversity in the UK – and businesses can get involved. Consider the patches of barren land around pylons or beside motorways. littered Wasteland with cigarette stubs around substations or abandoned factories. Many British companies own tens of thousands of hectares of this type of non-operational land or so-called soft estate.
Imagine a transformation of sites like this, digging ponds, planting hedgerows, reawakening dormant peat, stripping poisoned topsoil and sowing wildflowers, kickstarting the lands ability to regenerate. Once this phase is complete, the land can be fenced off and animals can be reintroduced to manage it. Soon the land is bursting with insect and invertebrate life, and starts producing the natural clean air, healthy soil, clean water running off the land, flood protection, and the added benefit of the beauty of nature. The land also becomes able to lock away carbon dioxide.
Commercial rewilding for corporates has not yet taken off yet but there is a real opportunity for this to change thanks to a combination of Brexit, the proposed new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme and the Environment Bill. Brexit means farmers will no longer have EU subsidies. They will be looking for alternative sources of revenue.
Under the Environment Bill, anyone constructing buildings or infrastructure will be required to leave their sites 10 per cent better off in terms of biodiversity than they were before the works started. This 10 per cent biodiversity net gain requirement is almost impossible to deliver on site. Typically, a new-build development takes up 80 per cent of the land, so it simply can not make the site 10 per cent richer in habitats and species. Developers will therefore have to pay to offset their impact on biodiversity. If developers with biodiversity impact to offset could pay local farmers to use their unproductive land for rewilding projects, this would be a highly beneficial match. If companies with dead land could also start to rewild it to offset their own biodiversity impact, in 10 years’ time we could see a Britain where land is becoming healthy again.
The more areas become rewilded, the more they can be joined up to create a patchwork network of corridors, helping wildlife travel and rejuvenate.
Lets Rewild Britain! Rewilding Britain together….
Story Source: https://www.cityam.com/commercial-rew…
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