Private finance initiative trialled for environmental scheme

We launched an innovative pilot using private finance to fund an agricultural and environmental scheme on the Abbeystead Estate, Lancashire, improving 5.4 hectares of habitat, enabling natural flood management and carbon capture.

The scheme is backed by a community interest company – a business that exists for a social purpose – in collaboration between the Wyre Rivers Trust, which works to improve the environment across the Wyre catchment in North West  Lancashire, and third-party investors. 

We identified land at Far Barn – a former dairy farm that is now managed by the estate – where traditional environmental funding schemes were not compatible with ambitious plans to reinstate historic waterways, slowing the flow and storing more water upstream to reduce the risk of flooding downstream, while also further improving the habitat for rare and red-listed wader species. 

The scheme will improve our understanding of private finance programmes used for projects such as this, as they are expected to become more commonplace, as well as provide greater flexibility and resource to help deliver greater environmental benefit. 

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