£10 million invested in University of Exeter biodiversity project
The University of Exeter’s RENEW project, set up to tackle biodiversity loss, has received a £10 million investment.
The project is in collaboration with the National Trust, and aims to work with communities, businesses, and landowners to restore woodlands, wetlands and farmlands across the UK. The hope is that this will help tackle biodiversity loss and wider issues caused by the climate crisis. The news of the project’s funding has been announced as the University of Exeter celebrates its ‘Go Green Week’ – a week of activities and events on the theme of sustainability to encourage students to consider a range of enviromental issues and take action in their own lives.
“This project will give nature in the UK a critical boost.”
The RENEW project will focus on:
- How community support for biodiversity renewal can be harnessed
- How people who are disengaged, disadvantaged, or disconnected from nature can benefit from inclusion in solutions development
- How renewal activities can be designed and delivered by diverse sets of land managers and interest groups
- How biodiversity renewal can most effectively be embedded into finance and business activities
The project is being led by Exeter’s Professor Kevin Gaston (a former founding Director of the Environment and Sustainability Institute), and has received this significant funding through a grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). In response to the funding, Professor Gaston said: “We’re delighted to receive such a significant investment from the Natural Environment Research Council which will give nature in the UK a critical boost. […] Currently, the UK is one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries, with 40% of monitored species having declined in abundance in recent decades.”
The Project co-lead, Professor Rosie Hails (Director of Science and Nature at the National Trust), said it was a “tremendous opportunity to trial solutions to renew biodiversity.”
Editor: Orla Mackinnon