The Wendling Beck Environment Project is a 2000 acre pioneering habitat creation, nature restoration and regenerative agriculture initiative


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Innovative farming methods are unlocking new streams of income and creating resilient solutions to the climate crisis for farmers in the East of England who are working on a groundbreaking project piloting nature-based solutions on their land.

The Wendling Beck Environment Project is a 2000 acre pioneering habitat creation, nature restoration and regenerative agriculture initiative.  It is made possible by new financial mechanisms introduced by the British government to protect and restore biodiversity in nature. 

Over the last four years the eastern county of Norfolk in England has endured the coldest winter, the wettest summer, the driest and hottest summer and the wettest spring on record - impacting farmer yields, food security and biodiversity. 

Traditional, intensive ways of farming are leading to smaller crop yields and less wildlife on their farms.  

The UK government is introducing new policies to promote and prioritise biodiversity and regenerative farming. The new Environment Act, introduced to protect and restore biodiversity in nature,  requires Biodiversity Net Gain in all developments to ensure that habitat for wildlife is in a better state after projects, than before.  

These new government policies have created a huge business opportunity for the farmers.  By farming regeneratively they have accessed finance for creating new, and enhancing existing habitats.  Wildlife is protected, food security is improved, and nature thrives.  It’s an approach to financing natural solutions to the climate and biodiversity crisis  that could provide a blueprint to others.

In the last 18 months, the project has restored 10% of the 2,000 acres in its remit. The team’s vision is to create a diverse mosaic of different habitats, lowland heath, grassland  and wetlands.  It will restore 5 kilometres of river and will sequester 250,000 tonnes of carbon.

As world leaders gather in the  UAE for COP28, to present how they have been addressing the climate crisis, these farmers are providing inspiration. Not only for other farmers but also for policymakers deciding how to finance the climate and biodiversity solutions we urgently need to deliver on the Paris Agreement. 


Encouraging nature and wildlife to thrive is transforming the future for four British farmers

The Wendling Beck Environment Project  is a groundbreaking project

2000 acres of land in transition

From intensive arable to nature recovery and habitat creation

Creating resilient farms in the face of climate change:

NAME CAPTION:  Glenn Anderson, Project Lead, Wendling Beck

SOUNDBITE GLENN ANDERSON:   “Climate change  is the biggest threat to food security that there is.  We can’t grow crops without any rain, we can’t grow crops in drought. We need to try and solve the issues with climate change and biodiversity loss.”

NAME CAPTION:  Rosie Begg, Landowner, Wendling Beck

SOUNDBITE ROSIE BEGG:  “The future has to be a way that grows with nature, rather than constantly fighting it.” 

The UK Government’s new Environment Act has offered a lifeline.  

It enables these farmers to build a sustainable business by protecting nature

By selling biodiversity units to developers biodiversity is improved and they earn an income

SOUNDBITE GLENN ANDERSON:  “Biodiversity Net Gain is where developers are losing habitat from developments  - they are now bound to offset that habitat loss... The process is they can try and mitigate that to some extent onsite but then they can look to buy credits, to not just replace that habitat loss, but to actively create a biodiversity net gain.”

220 acres have so far been restored

Creating  lowland heath, grassland  and wetlands.  

Restoring 5 kilometres of river, protecting wildlife, improving food security and allowing nature to thrive

And it will sequester 250,000 tonnes of carbon

SOUNDBITE GLENN ANDERSON:  “So the Wendling Beck project won’t save the world. It wont reverse biodiversity loss on its own and it won’t solve the climate crisis on its own.  But we are testing new models of financing Nature-Based Solutions and if we can make a project that is both financially and environmentally resilient then we deliver a model which landowners will want to adopt. Maybe that will change the world and help reverse biodiversity loss and have an impact on climate.”

It shows that with robust finance, nature can offer the climate and biodiversity solutions the planet urgently needs to deliver on the Paris Agreement.

SOUNDBITE ROSIE BEGG:  “We are at a tipping point and the path we are going down will make our children and our children’s children lives harder. And a future that they will never forgive us for. But  the positive thing is that there is another path. One that will heal the planet and heal the soil. And that is what we all need to be working for.”

28 November 2023