Farmers in the United Kingdom will soon be able to apply for grant funding to rewild sections of their property. The grants are part of a wider effort to support ecosystem recovery, with the government setting a target of 300,000 hectares of England dedicated to 'landscape recovery' projects by 2042.
The funds will be available to land management projects focused on rewinding, species recovery and wildlife management. Applications will be open to 10-15 pilot projects in the first round of funding, with the scheme aiming to transform around 10,000 hectares of land over the next two years.
In addition to preserving natural environments and preventing species loss, the scheme hopes to embed regenerative farming practices in England's food production system.
“We want to see profitable farm businesses producing nutritious food and underpinning a growing rural economy, where nature is recovering and people have better access to it," George Eustice, the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, told The Guardian.
"Through our new schemes, we are going to work with farmers and land managers to halt the decline in species, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, increase woodland, improve water and air quality and create more space for nature."
The government has also announced plans to offer farmers funds for smaller scale local nature recovery projects. These could include tree planting, restoring wetlands and dedicating space for wildlife habitats.
The announcements have been met with some skepticism from environmental campaigners and farmers, with both groups calling on the government to share more detail on how the schemes will work.
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