Unlocking the hidden powers of National Parks to fight climate change and boost biodiversity

Image: South Downs National Park Authority

From Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and Dartmoor to the Yorkshire Dales and Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons), the UK’s 15 National Parks offer us so much. They’re living, working landscapes that are visited by over 100 million people every year; home to rich habitats, rare wildlife and important cultural and heritage sites – including world-famous lakes (Windermere), historic monuments (Hadrian’s Wall) and some of the country’s highest peaks (Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon).

National Parks Partnerships – for people, climate and nature

Post-COVID, and in light of the climate and biodiversity crises, we are seeing an increased appetite from businesses for nature-led partnerships. The UK’s National Parks are experts in locally-led nature restoration and biodiversity enhancement, but they lack the funds to do so at scale. This is where National Parks Partnerships comes in. We connect businesses with this impact-led work, creating partnerships that help nature to thrive in National Parks.

People are sometimes surprised that it is possible to partner with the UK National Parks. But we’ve been building purpose-led partnerships with leading companies and brands since 2017. Previous and current partners include Columbia Sportswear, Santander UK, Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland, Forest Holidays and BMW UK. Projects have ranged from providing uniform to National Parks staff and installing EV charging points in National Parks to funding impactful nature recovery and youth engagement projects.

Investing in Nature

With the right funding in place, National Parks are well-placed to deliver more for nature. It’s good for business too. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that the total asset value of ecosystem services in the UK stands at £1.5trn, with nature contributing more than £45bn to the economy each year.

In 2021, National Park Partnerships teamed up with global impact firm Palladium to launch Revere: Investing in Nature – focused on unlocking private finance to enable nature restoration at scale with huge carbon capture potential. Revere works with businesses that meet the requirements of its Ethics Charter, helping them to access high volumes of high-integrity UK-generated carbon credits. Find out more at www.revere.eco

Leading the way for business, and the planet

There’s been a huge shift in the last few years (as discussed in my #SustyTalk last year), where the conversation with companies has become focused on how we can work together to provide positive outcomes for nature. The combination of covid and the climate emergency put a spotlight on landscapes like National Parks as national assets and how we’d taken them for granted.

Our conversations with companies show that they understand the need to support nature, and why it is business critical. We’ve been encouraged by the action we’re already seeing, from the notable increase in businesses with dedicated nature and sustainability roles to initiatives such as Business for Nature’s It’s Now for Nature, which urges companies to embed nature into their corporate strategy.

National Parks are particularly well-placed to work alongside companies as they seek to demonstrate impact around nature, biodiversity and climate, and National Parks Partnerships is here to help make and manage partnerships with purpose. With a dedicated in-house Nature-Based Solutions team, we work collaboratively to develop bespoke partnerships that support nature in National Parks and we support our partners to share that story with their staff, stakeholders and customers. This isn’t about off-the-shelf projects but instead developing purposeful partnerships that demonstrate tangible positive outcomes for UK nature and climate.

Are you interested in partnering with National Parks for nature? Find out more at: National Parks Partnerships // National Parks Or come and see us at edie 24 on 20-21 March 2024 to find out more.

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