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The Somerset Guardian, 29th June 2022

Last week, Lord Benyon wrote to all Members of Parliament (MPs) about the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF). The Minister announced that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has established the Fund to support innovative nature projects that will be delivered by the Environment Agency.

I am delighted to report that in North East Somerset, the NEIRF will support Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, with partners Federated Hermes, The Rivers Trust and the Duchy of Cornwall with the aim to restore freshwater biodiversity and improve fish populations in the Chew and Newton Brook catchments.

The project will develop a standardised Freshwater Biodiversity Investment Model and commence a United Kingdom (UK) Freshwater Biodiversity Code thus enhancing the habitats for Atlantic salmon, trout and eels. It will also improve coarse fish populations, restore freshwater biodiversity, improve water quality, store carbon and reduce flood risk to nearby properties.

The Fund is one of the steps that the Government is taking to achieve its target to stimulate at least £500m of private investment, per year by 2027, to support nature recovery. This will increase to at least £1bn per year by 2030. Organisations will be able to realise the revenue potential of their nature projects and secure private sector investment to halt biodiversity loss, create woodlands, restore peatlands, improve water quality, sequester carbon and increase resilience to climate change.

These projects are an important step forward in demonstrating the financial benefits of investing in nature that will the improve standards for communities, flora and fauna and preserve the environment for future generations.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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