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First National Park to announce major green finance scheme for business sector to accelerate nature recovery

The fight against biodiversity loss has taken a huge step forward as the South Downs National Park unveils a new nature recovery scheme for businesses of all sizes.

The South Downs has become the first National Park in the UK to open up a formal scheme for voluntary biodiversity gain to the private sector – meaning that firms of any size across England can invest in high-ethic, effective nature recovery.

The Voluntary Biodiversity Credits scheme is the latest among a growing package of green finance measures being offered by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Over 500 hectares – equivalent to more than 800 football pitches – of land on farms and country estates across Hampshire and Sussex have already been earmarked for biodiversity restoration through future green finance investment.

Tim Slaney, Chief Executive (Interim) at the South Downs National Park, said, “This is a first for UK National Parks and underlines our commitment to tackling the biodiversity crisis through innovation.

“We have a real opportunity in the UK to turn the tide on nature depletion, as well as tackle the climate crisis through nature-based solutions, but we’ve got to act quickly and decisively. In the UK, 41% of species have declined in abundance over the past 40 years, so we’re at a pivotal moment.

“There is now a real appetite across the corporate sector to demonstrate first-class environmental integrity, meet national targets and invest in the planet for future generations and that’s exactly what Voluntary Biodiversity Credits can deliver.

“This growing desire to invest in the environment dovetails with an ever-expanding need in the land and farming sector to diversify and find new revenue streams. Both sectors can work harmoniously together and National Parks can be the facilitator.”

The Voluntary Biodiversity Credits scheme has been launched in partnership with Earthly, a leading UK NatureTech company whose team of experts seek to drive investment in high-integrity nature projects around the world. A bespoke Section 106 legal agreement will secure land use change – from agriculture to nature recovery – through an agreement between the landowner and the National Park Authority as Local Planning Authority (LPA).

For more information, visit:

For an informal chat about the scheme and opportunities, please email: or call Mark Alden, from the National Park’s consultancy team, on 07850 570297.