It’s not too late to restore nature, but we must act urgently if we are to do so. We set up the Innovation Fund to offer seed funding to projects, breaking down barriers to getting started or enabling new approaches to go on to scale up.
These projects are pioneering, pushing rewilding forward at the scale and speed that’s needed to restore ecosystems at the landscape scale. Many are focused on developing strategies to guide future efforts and ensure all the impacts of the project are fully considered and accounted for. More and more are involving local communities in rewilding initiatives.
We’ve chosen to fund these areas to help kickstart the mass restoration of ecosystems and drive more effective nature recovery.
Our impact so far
Innovation Fund Impacts
hectares covered by funded rewilding projects
projects funded in total since 2021
awarded to innovative rewilding projects
Counties in Britain covered by funded projects
Where we’ve funded projects
This map shows the incredible diversity of Innovation Fund rewilding projects across England, Scotland and Wales, from landowners to managers and community groups.
With our support, they are expanding their bold efforts to improve our climate, bring back nature, and create economic opportunities for local communities.
Find out more about our project categories and the full list of funded projects.
Community-based rewilding projects not only benefit the land, they can improve people’s health and wellbeing and create resilient local economies. We’re funding projects that integrate rewilding landscapes with improving people’s lives.
Devon Rewilding Network
Local action is vital for rewilding. We’re helping the Devon Rewilding Network engage with a range of audiences, to provide support and advice to local communities and join up rewilding initiatives.Devon Rewilding Network
Education Programmes at the Spains Hall Estate
We helped Spains Hall Estate develop an education and community outreach programme for local schools and community groups. Partnering with The Wilderness Foundation, they’re delivering the programmes from a nature-based camp on the estate.Wilderness Foundation project information
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Rewilding Network
Hampshire and Isle of Wight, England
We’ve helped them set up and run the Hampshire and Isle of Wight local network. By connecting local rewilders, the group aims to share learning, provide access to specialist knowledge, improve ecological monitoring, and increase rewilding.Hampshire & Isle of Wight Rewilding Network
North East Rewilding Network
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.North East Rewilding Network
A seascape plan with the Arran community
The funding’s helped make a plan for the South Arran Marine Protected Area. The first of its kind for Scotland, it will be an example for other coastal communities, with a vision developed with the community, for the community.Community of Arran Seabed Trust
Social feasibility for wild cat reintroduction
The wildcat, sometimes called woodcat because of its preferred habitat, has been missing from Cornwall for hundreds of years. This project engages with communities, landowners and land managers to scope the possibility of the cat’s return.Cabilla Cornwall
South Knapdale Deer Management
Argyll supports a large amount of Scotland’s remaining temperate rainforest, however high deer numbers threaten its regeneration. This funding is supporting the community to establish a deer management group for the area.Knapdale Landscape Restoration Project
Talla Hartfell Wildland area engagement
Southern Uplands, Scotland
Covering 47,215ha in the central Southern Uplands, the project aims to increase rewilding and nature restoration, working with communities. Funding has contributed to a new a circular walk, an eco-museum, talks and advisory visits.Reviving the wild heart of Southern Scotland
Training up the next generation
This funding is helping to develop training for the next generation of land managers. It will give young people the opportunity to learn from on-site experts, teaching them new skills and increasing capacity for nature restoration.
Urban rewilding at Wild Ouseburn
Since regeneration, the Ouseburn Valley has retained a diverse range of habitats and green spaces. We’re funding a study that will look at the potential for community-integrated rewilding to increase access to nature in the area.Wild Ouseburn
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust have undertaken extensive consultation with local communities to co-create a vision for nature recovery in the landscape that works alongside sustainable food production.Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Yorkshire Rewilding Network
The project connects, inspires, and enables rewilding in the area, bringing together landowners, land managers and the community. Funding supported the first Yorkshire Rewilding Festival in 2023, plus engagement events and advisory visits.Yorkshire Rewilding Network
Building evidence is crucial for both showing rewilding’s impact to policy-makers, and for helping others learn more about rewilding. It also helps us to better understand its impact on nature, as well as on carbon, hydrology, and people.
Building a case for beavers in Cheshire
Cheshire Wildlife Trust have set up a county-wide Beaver Management Group. The aim of the group is to engage various stakeholders in advocating for the multi-benefits beavers offer as a keystone species, and support beaver reintroductions.Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Developing Rewilding in West Dorset
Developing a baseline for the Brit river catchment alongside a plan to engage the community with plans for landscape-scale restoration. The funding was also used to start up a membership scheme.West Dorset Wilding
Sphagnum mosses are a small but remarkable group of ecosystem engineers, with around 30 species in the UK. The funding will support the reintroduction of two sphagnum species to the peatland restoration areas at Kingsdale head.Kingsdale Head
Peatland restoration at Yearn Stane
Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire and Inverclyde, Scotland
In Scotland’s Regional Park, Yearn Stane will use drone surveys and a 4k camera to survey over 5,000ha of peatland to aid restoration, provide data and capture footage for public engagement activities. Our funding will support the surveys.Yearn Stane
Rewilding Ardura Community Forest
Mull and Iona, Scotland
The charity Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) are developing a long-term, collective rewilding vision for the 200-hectare Ardura Forest, which they acquired on behalf of the local community in 2019.MICT website
Sussex Kelp Project
The impact of land use on marine rewilding is well known. This study explores the impact of sediment levels on kelp regeneration at the Sussex Kelp project, and involved a workshop to produce a Sussex Sediment Management Plan.Sussex Kelp Recovery Project
Testing baseline approaches including eDNA
At a former opencast mine, we 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.Wilding West Chevington
Tech and Innovation
Rewilding is about doing things differently. Embracing technology is a key part of speeding up nature’s recovery, by learning new skills and information. From drones to data, these projects are pushing the boundaries.
Modelling Carbon Capture
Scotland’s Bunloit Estate, Norfolk’s Wendling Beck and Sussex’s Knepp Estate were funded to measure the potential carbon captured by scrub and wood pasture. Treeconomy are helping them model it using remote sensing techniques e.g. LiDAR.
Lake District, England
Lowther Estate is starting a tree seeding experiment with the funding, to see if it’s more effective than tree planting on their land. They’ll measure if seeding produces more woodland of local origin which naturally expands in the future.Lowther Estate
eDNA surveying and baselining techniques
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust are developing a toolkit for setting an ecological baseline for nature recovery and rewilding projects. This funding has explored eDNA surveys for soil monitoring as well as community engagement opportunities.
A new dawn for wild data
Knepp Wildland has been a rewilding pioneer for over two decades, tracking extraordinary journeys of nature recovery. The funding will help develop a new Wild Data portal to allow others to explore the research findings from the project.Case study: Knepp Estate
Because rewilding is breaking new ground or trying out radical ideas, it’s important to spend time assessing the risks and opportunities. Feasibility studies and business strategies lay the foundations for long-term rewilding success.
Catchment-scale nature recovery at Bamff
Funding to explore a catchment wide approach to restoring riparian woodland along the river to improve natural flood management, and create corridors for wildlife.Bamff Estate
Community seagrass restoration
Western Highlands, Scotland
A community-led feasibility study to identify potential areas for seagrass restoration in Knoydart, located on the peninsula of Lochaber, Highland, as well as providing training for local surveyors to explore the area.
A feasibility study for Cornwall Wildlife Trust to explore opportunities for rewilding on its Helman Tor reserve. The plans include restoring species, mixed grazing as well as opportunities for people to enjoy this wilder nature.Helman Tor
Leveraging wilder connections
A project exploring the potential nature-based social and economic benefits on the Wilder Doddington Estate. It aims to show the social benefits of rewilding as well as creating opportunities for young people to gain skills and experience.Wilder Doddington
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.Lynx to Scotland
Marine Rewilding in the Medway
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.Medway and Swale Estuary Partnership
Rewilding the Intertidal
Plymouth Sound supports fragmented habitats in a busy marine area. The project aims to re-naturalise areas currently under concrete and give nature the best opportunity to thrive.
A feasibility study to identify potential areas for seagrass restoration – an essential marine habitat that absorbs carbon. Climate Action North spearheaded the initiative in the northeast of England.North East Rewilding Network
Wild Packington Estate
Feasibility study to inform the new rewilding strategy for the estate. The funding has provided them with an opportunity to explore new rewilding options across the estate and develop a detailed rewilding strategy.Wild Packington
White tailed eagle reintroduction feasibility
We are funding a feasibility study for white-tailed eagle reintroduction. The study will review habitat requirements as well as the social feasibility for the return of this species.White-tailed eagle