Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) Project (2022-2023)
This project brings together the Cluster with Oxbury Bank, a dedicated agricultural bank for farmers and food producers and is funded by the NEIRF grants scheme (administered by the Environment Agency on behalf of DEFRA).
We are developing a new approach for farmers to invest individually and collaboratively in natural capital projects and to retain the full value of resultant eco system payments. NEIRF funding enables Oxbury Bank to design the necessary lending, payments and investment financial products that Cluster farmers can use to invest in the natural environment without delay.
This project will achieve: Landscape scale natural environment restoration and management - building on the existing pilot projects both completed or underway. These include, - Natural flood management and water quality with Thames Water - Biodiversity net gain with the Environment Agency - Carbon baselining with Carbon Quester and Rothamsted Research There are ready-made pilot projects that exist across the country that can be applied in our context as soon as the appropriate financial products are designed and applied by participating farms. At least 100 projects are expected to be taken up by the end of 2023, with learning being shared within and outside the Cluster on how farmer-led decisions on investing in the natural environment can be facilitated by simple financial products controlled by farmers. These products will be available nationwide by project end.