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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

National Parks UK And Santander UK Expand Nature Restoration Partnership


National Parks UK and Santander UK recently announced a growth in their partnership to support the restoration of nature across some of the country’s most-loved landscapes.


Santander UK will support the development of an innovative nature financing platform in the Lake District National Park designed through Revere, a collaboration between the National Parks Partnerships and global impact firm Palladium.


The platform, developed together with local landowners and the National Park Authority, will secure investment to fund the creation of nature-based solutions that are designed to improve water quality in lakes and rivers, enhance biodiversity and build natural climate resistance. The solutions will include wetland creation to slow water flows and woodland planting in high impact locations such as along riverbanks.


The first phase of Revere’s work in the Lake District was funded by Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland and resulted in the identification of over 400 hectares of riparian woodland and wetland creation opportunities across the Lake Windermere catchment that would reduce the amount phosphorus pollution entering the lake. The funding also led to the creation of a financial model to assess options for funding the wetland and woodland sites. Santander UK is picking up the baton to enable phase two of the nature financing platform design work.


Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, welcomed the new partnership: “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. In Windermere we’re continuing to work with experts and the community through the Love Windermere partnership, taking an evidence-based approach to address the current water quality issues."


“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.”


This support builds upon Santander’s 2021 commitment as a founding partner of the National Parks ‘Net Zero With Nature’ initiative which places UK landscapes at the heart of the fight against climate change and the biodiversity crisis. As part of their commitment, Santander supported the restoration of 200 hectares of damaged peatland in the Cairngorms National Park.


Since then, Santander UK staff have enjoyed a variety of volunteering sessions in the National Parks including peatland restoration in the Cairngorms and scrub clearance and litter picking in the South Downs National Park.


James Dunne, UK Head of Wealth Management and Insurance at Santander UK said: “It’s fantastic to share the exciting news about the second nature restoration project that Santander is supporting through its partnership with National Parks UK. I had the good fortune to be involved in the first project that delivered peat restoration in the stunning Cairngorms National Park. The second sees us supporting this innovative collaboration to deliver landscape restoration at scale in the inspiring Lake District."


"We know our customers care about protecting the environment and have an expectation that businesses are responsible in the ways they do business. 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.”


Andrew Wilson, Director of Communications and Responsible Banking at Santander UK said: “I’m delighted that Santander UK is continuing the valuable partnership with National Parks UK, which started in 2021 with support for peatland restoration in the Cairngorms. The new collaboration to help deliver landscape restoration at scale in the beautiful Lake District is an innovative way to drive the pace and scale of local nature-based solutions. The project to improve biodiversity and water quality in the area, and to build climate resistance, is incredibly important and it is exciting that Santander can continue to be involved in facilitating nature restoration of this kind.”

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