TFG Lending, a leader in sustainable business lending for more than 12 years across UK and Canada, has provided assistance for the Innovative Natural Flood Management project in Lancashire. This initiative is the first to employ a new green investment finance model, which will see the repayment of the initial investment through the sale of ecosystem services to a number of beneficiary organizations. Additionally, it is the first environmental undertaking qualified for Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR).
Mike Cuthbert – Deputy Director of Strategy, Planning, and Performance, attended the project’s launch today, which included a trip to the Upper Wyre Catchment, close to one of the locations designated to receive money for implementing environmental enhancements. The visit coincided with the announcement of the second batch of initiatives to receive funding from the ground-breaking Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund, whose Wyre project served as a pilot.
According to Mike Cuthbert, “The Wyre Rivers Trust and its initiative have been a leader in gaining private funding for nature-based solutions to confront the effects of climate change. They have received financing from TFG Lending Ltd and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The landowners deserve praise for their innovative mindset in embracing a new way of doing business and utilizing nature capital. By providing long-term returns through costs avoided from a reduction in flood risk, like here where communities will benefit downstream in Churchtown, which were impacted during Storm Desmond, this project and the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund are setting the bar for how private investments in nature can be made.
Over a nine-year period, the project’s funds will be used to implement over 1,000 highly targeted natural flood management measures.
- Making a wetland involves temporarily storing water; examples include leaking dams, earth bunds, hedgerows with bunds, peatland restoration, reconnecting floodplains, etc.
- Creating grassland will make catchments rougher, which will help to slow overland flow. This could involve riparian buffer strips, intense grassland conversion to rough pasture, etc.
- To capture and transpire water, woodlands were created. This could involve planting riparian trees or sizable natural woodland blocks.
Grants will be given to local farmers and landowners to host and sustain these natural initiatives. By simulating or restoring the natural functions of a river catchment, the interventions are intended to limit the maximum water volume of a flood (peak flood level) and/or delay the arrival of the flood peak downstream. Such NFM actions can promote biodiversity, strengthen resiliency to climate change, and improve water quality in addition to safeguarding homes and businesses downstream.