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Latest Rewilding Innovation Fund recipients announced

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve awarded over £138,000 to 11 projects in the latest round of the Rewilding Innovation Fund — and it’s with help from our supporters.

Measure monitor
One of the eleven projects is to help set up a new Wild Data portal to enable others to learn from Knepp's rewilding journey  © Yusuf Akhtar

Published 14/08/2023

Innovation is key to rewilding — we need to remove barriers to rewilding across Britain to scale up existing projects to the landscape-scale. The 11 projects funded in the latest round of the Rewilding Innovation Fund are either at the start of their journey or ready to go one step wilder. The funding will help boost their bold efforts to improve our climate, bring nature back and provide economic futures for communities. 

Covering a mix of marine, terrestrial and urban rewilding, the recipients showcase the diverse range of rewilding projects taking action. 

We would like to thank everyone who donated through the Big Give Green Match Fund to support the ongoing success of the Rewilding Innovation Fund. Your donations have helped this round of recipients propel their plans forward.

You can see the full list of this round’s recipients below.

What is the Rewilding Innovation Fund?

Since 2021, the Rewilding Innovation Fund has funded 35 initiatives across Britain’s land and sea. From community-driven to technology-focused projects, we have removed the barriers to rewilding for many.

Previous recipients are already demonstrating the benefits they are delivering to their local communities and to biodiversity, while developing learning and evidence that provides an insight for other rewilders and helps us influence policy.

Latest round recipients

Community engagement

Ouseburn valley urban rewilding
 © Mandy Wright / Shutterstock

Urban Rewilding at Wild Ouseburn

Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Ouseburn Valley has retained a diverse range of habitats and green spaces since its transformation over recent years into a thriving cultural and creative quarter that supports many businesses.
We’re funding a study that will look at the potential for community-integrated rewilding to increase access to nature in the area. 

Heather in bloom on heathland
 © Guy Edwardes / 2020 VISION

Building a Rewilding Network in Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Funding will help set up and run the Hampshire and Isle of Wight local group. By connecting local rewilders through a variety of communications activities, the group aims to share learning, provide access to specialist knowledge, improve ecological monitoring, and increase rewilding.

Crab in Sea Grass
 © Richard Shucksmith /

Building a North East Rewilding Network for land and sea

A new network hosted by Climate Action North will expand the support provided through the North East Rewilding Network to local rewilding projects, crucially making connections between land, sea and community.

“This funding will help us expand the support for the growing movement of rewilding land and sea practitioners across the North of England, wherever they are in their journey to restore nature and ecosystems.”

Sharon Lashley

Climate Action North Managing Director

Feasibility studies

Trees at Glenlude in Scotland
 © John Muir Trust

Growing Glenlude

Less than an hour from Edinburgh, Glenlude is accessible to a wide audience and has become an important hub for volunteering and engagement. 

The funding will support a woodland scoping study that will help shape a plan for native woodland restoration that complements low-impact forestry.

Lynx in forest
 © Animalphotography ch / Shutterstock

Lynx to Scotland

The funding will be used by Trees For Life to support the second phase of the impactful Lynx to Scotland project, which will examine the potential barriers and concerns expressed during the initial consultation. Uncover more about the Eurasian Lynx and the role they play in the landscape.

White tailed eagle
 © Mark Caunt / Shutterstock

White-tailed eagle

We are funding a feasibility study for white-tailed eagle reintroduction, an apex predator that has already started making a comeback in Scotland. Eating mostly fish, birds, smaller mammals and carrion, the white-tailed eagle needs large-scale, fully functioning ecosystems that support an abundant web of life.

Evidence building

Northumberland Wildlife Trust West's West Chevington rewilding site
 © Northumberland wildlife trust

Wilding West Chevington

At a former opencast mine, the funding will support eDNA testing of soils to inform the rewilding strategy for Wilding West Chevington and provide a baseline for soil fungal and bacterial communities, essential for measuring improved soil health.

Lichen and moss
 © Ben Porter

Missing Mosses

Sphagnum mosses are a small but remarkable group of ecosystem engineers particularly important at Kingsdale Head. There are around 30 species in the UK capable of a range of colours, structures and functions. The funding will support the reintroduction of two sphagnum species to the peatland restoration areas.

Common oyster on seabed
 © Alamy Stock Photo

Habitats on the Edge

This project aims to restore seagrass meadows and native oyster reefs in the Medway and Swale Estuary, Kent, to rewild the area at the seascape scale. The funding will be used to identify a baseline to measure improvements against.

Technology and Innovation

Measure monitor
 © Yusuf Akhtar

Wild data

Knepp has been a rewilding pioneer for over two decades. In that time, the team has tracked some of the most extraordinary journeys of nature recovery. The funding will be used to develop a new Wild Data portal to allow others to explore the project’s rewilding journey.

Wendling beck lidar survey
 © Wendling Beck

Yearn Stane

In Scotland’s Regional Park, Yearn Stane plans to use drone surveys and a 4k camera to survey over 5,000ha of peatland to inform restoration, provide key data and capture footage for future public engagement activities. Our funding will support these surveys. 

How can you apply?

The next round of the Rewilding Innovation Fund will open for applications towards the start of 2024. Projects must be a member of the growing Rewilding Network to apply; it’s free to join and comes with many benefits, including a connection to other rewilding practitioners and access to help and advice. For more details and the full criteria, visit the Rewilding Innovation Fund homepage.

The Rewilding Innovation Fund has been made possible through funding from the Dormywood Trust, Babel Cover, Hotelplan Ltd, Orp Foundation, Reed Foundation, Turnstyle, Unum, Roger Raymond Charitable Trust, Mattinson Partnership, AG Communications and the many individuals who have given generous support to this project.

Dundreggan in autumn

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