‘Resilient Glenderamackin’

A Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) Project

West Cumbria Rivers Trust, The Rivers Trust and Triodos Bank have been successful with funding from DEFRA’s Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) to develop a project in the Glenderamackin/St Johns catchments to the point of ‘investment readiness’ – being ready for financial investors to then fund project delivery. We are keen to work together with a wide range of partner organisations to take this work forward.

Starting in February 2022, we aim to spend 15 months working up an investment ready partnership project which, if successful, will then attract around £8M investment in nature-based solutions in the Glenderamackin catchment over 5 years, tackling 2 urgent challenges: reducing flood risk in Keswick and restoring nature in the Lake District National Park.

Using learning from a similar, but smaller scale investment-funded NFM project in the Wyre catchment in Lancashire, and West Cumbria Rivers Trust’s previous NFM experience, we will develop features to reduce flood frequency and severity in Keswick by reducing peak flow by 5-15%, while restoring nature and storing carbon. Natural capital outcomes will be high, in line with many local and national plans and policies.

We will establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which will be a not-for-profit, social enterprise entity with objectives to increase resilience and reduce flood risk in the Glenderamackin catchment by delivering a range of ecosystem services such as, but not limited to, carbon sequestration, water quality improvement and biodiversity gain. Upfront capital required to deliver catchment interventions will be raised through green and social Investment. This will be repaid over a long period of time. This will be achieved by the SPV entering long-term ecosystem service contracts with various buyers who will seek to benefit from the interventions. These could include but not limited to, water companies, insurance companies, local business, and strategy organisations. The SPV will also enter into long-term lease agreements with catchment land managers to facilitate delivery and host the interventions, with contractual payments directly linked to ongoing intervention maintenance. This will complement future changes in agricultural policy to enable a financial mechanism to incentivise landscape scale sustainable farming.

This financing model will provide a test case for evaluating Willingness-To-Pay and appropriate investment structures for investing in large-scale natural capital improvements, at the scale and pace that is required while supporting local communities and sustainable agriculture. We believe this could be a serious solution to deliver an integrated catchment management approach with multiple environmental benefits including climate change mitigation and adaptation.