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  • hammaad saghir

Lloyds Banking Group Spearheads Nature Conservation Drive with £250,000 Investment Across Three Landmark Projects




In a pioneering move, Lloyds Banking Group has emerged as the inaugural founding corporate ally of the government's groundbreaking Projects for Nature initiative. The financial powerhouse has earmarked a substantial £250,000 to be distributed among three critical projects to bolster nature conservation efforts.


Unveiled amid the fervor of COP28, Projects for Nature aims to forge symbiotic partnerships between businesses and meticulously vetted nature recovery ventures endorsed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Natural England, and the Environment Agency.


Lloyds Banking Group has enthusiastically embraced this initiative, supporting a triumvirate of handpicked projects.


Lloyds Bank, collaborating with the Knepp Wildland Foundation, spearheads the transformative Weald to Waves endeavor. This visionary project endeavors to establish a sprawling 100-mile corridor of nature recovery, interlinking over 20,000 hectares of diverse habitats along Sussex's principal rivers with its picturesque coastline.


Envisioned as a multi-faceted endeavor, Weald to Waves aspires to invigorate biodiversity, mitigate flooding risks, sequester carbon emissions, and invigorate rural economies. It aims to serve as a blueprint for nature conservation endeavors in densely populated landscapes.


Another beneficiary of Lloyds' largesse is the Resilient Glenderamackin initiative, which was implemented in collaboration with the West Cumbria Rivers Trust. This project is dedicated to deploying nature-based solutions to combat flood risks, rejuvenate natural ecosystems, and mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. Crafted in consultation with farmers and land stewards, the scheme encompasses a spectrum of natural flood management interventions, including river restoration, afforestation, and wetland rehabilitation.


Lastly, Lloyds' generous funding will bolster the National Trust's conservation efforts in the Peak District. This initiative partners with local stakeholders and tenant farmers to expand woodland coverage, rehabilitate peatlands, and enrich wetland and grassland habitats. Its objectives include enhancing soil fertility, safeguarding water quality, fostering ecological resilience, and facilitating community access to natural spaces.


The infusion of financial support will catalyze the restoration of 2.6 kilometers of wetland habitat nestled amidst the iconic vistas of Mam Tor and Kinder Scout.


"The UK ranks among the most nature-depleted countries globally, highlighting the pressing need for collective action," said Andrew Walton, chief sustainability officer at Lloyds Banking Group.


"As the UK's largest financial services provider, we recognise the crucial role we must play in tackling the loss of nature to ensure a more resilient and thriving natural environment for the future.


"Becoming a founding partner of Projects for Nature will enable us to make a tangible difference to combating nature loss in communities across England, exploring innovative approaches to protect and restore our natural ecosystems, ultimately helping Britain prosper. "


Justin Francis, Projects for Nature chair, added that it has been hugely encouraging to see leading businesses increasingly interested in addressing their impacts on nature while actively looking for ways to aid its recovery.


"Projects for Nature helps to bridge the gap, providing a digital platform that connects carefully selected corporate supporters with 25 of England's very best nature recovery projects, which have been initially funded by the Government and screened by its agencies," he said.


"While support from corporate donors for the projects is additional to any actions taken to avoid and reduce their environmental impacts, our monitoring framework can help businesses evidence their contributions towards their nature targets from the Science Based Targets Network and form part of their reporting under the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure framework.


"We are incredibly grateful to Lloyds Banking Group for supporting this initiative, and I am thrilled to welcome them as our first founding business partner."


The announcement comes just a few days after Lloyds inked a 10-year corporate Powe Purchase Agreement (PPA) to source 50GWh of clean electricity generated from two Low Carbon UK projects at Meadow Solar Farm in Hampshire and Pepperhill Solar Farm in Staffordshire.

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