The Somerset Levels had been badly hit by flooding in recent years. A partnership between EA, Somerset Rivers Authority and FWAG SW wanted to investigate how nature-based, whole catchment solutions could slow runoff and hold water upstream to reduce flood risk in the area. They needed a cost effective and straightforward way to engage farmers to implement nature-based actions that could work within their farming business.
With FWAG SW engaging farmers and providing expertise and support we created and trialled NatureBid in 2018 with farmers across two catchments in Somerset.
"The online auction was really quick and easy to use and allowed us to achieve a lot without all the paperwork of other environmental schemes." John Quick, Quantock Farm
"NatureBid has been a great way to engage new farmers with our project that we may not have reached previously, as it makes funding for environmental outcomes more accessible to them. The auction also allows us to pay farmers for land management changes such as better maize management and subsoiling at a fair price for them and the public, which has helped to kickstart longer-term positive behaviour change." Vicky Munday, FWAG SW
Forestry Commission wanted to distribute £50 million of funding to help accelerate woodland creation rates and develop the domestic market for woodland carbon sequestration.
Woodland creation project developers use Naturebid to bid into an auction, deciding the price per Woodland Carbon Unit that they would like to see guaranteed for their project to go ahead. This means that landowners can be assured of an income during the first 35 years of the project, but can also elect to sell to the open market if prices are higher in the long-term.
"Sylva Foundation added the Woodland Carbon Guarantee to the Naturebid platform in 2019, and have worked successfully with the Forestry Commission since then to deliver four auctions, with more planned in 2022 and beyond. The Naturebid platform is really user friendly, supported by clear guidance including a video guide, making it easy for applicants to register and take part in the auction. Sylva Foundation have been great to work with, they are solution focussed and always deliver high quality outputs on time and within budget." Samantha Neck, Forestry Commission
National Highways aimed to reduce flood risk at flooding hotspots by using nature-based solutions on land adjacent to highways, rather than engineered solutions on the highway itself.
Working with Atkins, National Highways used the innovative NFM Studio to model the potential volumetric storage options possible by implementing different measures across the landscape.
NatureBid combined the resulting NFM studio modelling with its reverse auction functionality, allowing landowners to bid to add environmental measures across their land with the most cost-effective measures (cost per unit of water stored) being awarded funding.
"The Naturebid platform has allowed us to engage with landowners in a way which was not possible before. This has unlocked the ability for us to implement catchment-based approaches at pace, and ensures that we are able to work in partnership with landowners and other catchment stakeholders to deliver benefits to the Strategic Roads Network." Tom de la Rosa, National Highways