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Gloucestershire firm gets £90k to plant trees

Gloucestershire based green energy firm Ecotricity has won a grant of nearly £90,000 to plant trees at its company sites.

Ecotricity, which is headquartered at Stroud, received the award from the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund which is handing out ten million pounds worth of taxpayer money to projects to restore kelp forests, create new woodland, deliver natural flood risk management, and improve water quality.

A total of 27 projects have initially been awarded funds of up to £100,000 each aimed at "tackling climate change and restoring nature through schemes such as woodland and habitat creation, peatland restoration, sustainable drainage and river catchment management".

Ecotricity New Ventures has secured £89,675 to identify and model woodland creation at company sites. This will result in the creation and selling of woodland carbon, with a new web platform for more than 200,000 customers.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: "To tackle the environmental challenges we face from climate change and biodiversity loss, it is crucial that domestic natural environment projects are able to attract private investment alongside support from the public sector.

"Unleashing innovation and growing new sources of finance, such as through the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund, are fundamental for delivering nature recovery and developing nature-based solutions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050."

Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd said: "With the right structure, nature-based projects can be scaled up by private finance, helping to reduce emissions, prepare for climate shocks and create jobs.

"These projects will provide evidence of funding models to make industries fit for the future, reach net zero by 2050, and create a nature positive future.

"With COP26 coming to the UK this year, this demonstrates how to create investable propositions for nature-based solutions to the climate emergency."

Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England said: "Restoring nature is essential for tackling climate change and supporting a strong, sustainable economy. Mobilising private finance can make a huge contribution to this and NEIRF is among the steps needed right now to help unlock that investment."

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