Case studies - December 2020 Update

Since July 2018, EnTrade has supported 25 nature-based solution markets across England which have involved over 5,000 farmers and led to private contracts for land management deals worth over £2 million. This article summarises some of our case studies and looks ahead to new events in the pipeline.

EnTrade has expanded its initial concept as a platform for cover crops and nitrogen trading in Poole Harbour. It now provides market development, trading, contracting, payment and verification services to buy and sell environmental services across 15 counties in England. We have helped our clients protect drinking water supplies, reduce the costs of wastewater treatment, demonstrate nutrient neutrality for new housing, store carbon reduce flood risk and protect biodiversity.

Below we have highlighted a selection of case studies, then followed this with a look ahead to some of the markets that we will be opening over the next six months.

Case studies

Download the full list of case studies.

New markets in the pipeline

Our latest market for newt ponds, in Somerset, has just opened and will run until 18th December. It generated over a 1,000 inquiries in its first week. These markets lead to pond building which offer more protection for the Great Crested Newt than could be achieved by piecemeal offsetting.

December also sees the launch of two more significant markets.

Firstly, our much-anticipated multi-buyer, multi-benefit auction will go live in Poole Harbour, Dorset. This seeks to increase the funding available to farmers for nature-based projects by combing a range of private and public funds, with each funding source buying a different environmental service from the project. Wessex Water will be buying increases in biodiversity habitat and nitrogen offsets. Defra will be funding carbon savings and wider public goods (such as reduced soil erosion and pollination services) as part of its tests and trials for new approaches to the future Environmental Land Management Scheme. The Environment Agency will be enhancing the funding for projects which are in areas where they act as natural flood management features.

Shortly afterwards, we will be running an extension of our Hampshire Avon Phosphorus Scheme with Wiltshire Council, this time based in the Rivers Nadder and Wylye, two beautiful chalk streams above Salisbury in Wiltshire. The focus in this market event will be to pay for well designed wetlands and riparian woodland creation. As with all our market events, we will be working with local on the ground partners (Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Blacksheep Countryside Consulting) to engage with farmers about requirements and potential project locations.

Details of both these events will be posted shortly, but as ever, preregistration via the link below will ensure early site of the opportunity.

Looking further ahead and further afield, we expect to be launching further auctions in Suffolk and Hampshire in the New Year. In Suffolk, we will be working with the RSPB to run a innovative market place to incentivise the creation of Turtle Dove habitats in optimal locations. In Hampshire, we expect to move further down the River Avon to create new Phosphorus offsets. This is part of the nutrient neutrality requirements that need to be in place in order to gain planning permission for new housing.

The final market to watch out for early in 2021 is still in its development phase. If it gets the go ahead, the Tone and Parrett Catchment Market in Somerset– being explored by Wessex Water - will lead to what we believe will be the UK’s biggest ever privately-funded market for multiple ecosystem services. Scoping work, with our partners FAWG South West is currently underway. We are seeking expressions of interest from potential suppliers of nature-based projects, initially in the South and West of Somerset.

Wessex Water would be the cornerstone investor in the market, as it seeks to optimise its asset investment programme for wastewater treatment by investing in nature-based phosphorus offsets. As a consequence of nutrient neutrality requirements announced for the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar site, a range of other buyers of phosphorus are also entering the market. We will be seeking expressions of interest on the buyer side as well, and working closely with Natural England and the Environment Agency to ensure that our credit calculation and registry methodologies – already well informed by our experiences in the Hampshire Avon -meet their regulatory requirements.