Santander UK backs financing platform for nature projects in Lake District

    Santander UK backs financing platform for nature projects in Lake District

    Santander UK has announced it will fund the development a new nature financing platform designed to raise funds for enhancing nature in the Lake District and bolstering the region’s resilience to escalating climate impacts.

    The platform, which is being developed by National Parks Partnerships and investment firm Palladium, aims to secure private investment for a range of nature-based solutions, including wetland creation measures to slow water flows and woodland planting along riverbanks.

    Funding secured through the platform will be directed at projects designed to improve water quality in lakes and rivers, enhance biodiversity, and build natural climate resilience, Santander said.

    Santander UK has been working with National Parks UK since 2021, when it became a founding member of the nature body’s ‘Net Zero With Nature’ initiative. It has since supported the restoration of 200 hectares of damaged peatland in Cairngorms National Park and run a number of volunteering sessions for its staff there and in the South Downs.

    “We know our customers care about protecting the environment and have an expectation that businesses are responsible in the ways they do business,” said James Dunne, head of wealth management and insurance at Santander UK. “The important partnership with National Parks UK allows us to demonstrate we do take it seriously, not just by supporting nature restoration but also by encouraging our colleagues to get involved and volunteer.”

    Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, welcomed the launch of the new initiative. “The landscapes of the Lake District provide enjoyment to millions of people every year, but they also provide opportunities by enhancing water quality, improving biodiversity and adapting to the impacts of climate change by reducing flood risk,” he said. “With Santander UK’s support, we will be able to explore new nature-based solutions by unlocking much needed investment. This is an exciting and innovative project that will continue our work towards a healthier lake and surrounding area for everyone to enjoy.”

    Through their joint venture Revere, National Parks Partnerships and Palladium have identified more than 400 hectares of riparian woodland and wetland creation opportunities across the Lake Windermere catchment that should reduce the amount of phosphorus pollution entering the lake.

    The first phase of the project, which also led to the creation of a financial model to assess options for funding the wetland and woodland sites, was funded by Estee Lauder Companies UK and Ireland.

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