I’d like to see a new sort of land designation in the UK to sit next to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I’m calling these ‘New Natural Areas‘, for want of a better term. Or maybe just Natural Areas.
These New Natural Areas might initially take the form of rewilding pilot sites, capturing a representative sample of biogeographical situations (coastal areas, connecting floodplain-river systems, grassland-woodland mosaic etc). They would probably occupy the most marginal lowland and upland farmland, areas that are farmed purely to yield farm subsidies.
As well as facilitating the recovery of near-natural landscapes, New Natural Areas would host new nature-based economies.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) as an interesting piece exploring such opportunities. The EIB has established a Natural Capital Financing Facility to help finance just these sorts of nature-based enterprises. I assume that UK entrepreneurs will not be able to tap into this facility post-Brexit, so the UK government will need to consider how it can provide such support itself.