Dr Justin Moat, RBG Kew, preparing drone flight on Wakehurst grassland.

Credit: Jim Holden

Research student Matilda with LiDAR sensor in Wakehurst woodland.

Credit: Jim Holden

Why nature-based solutions for climate change? 

Nature-based solutions (NbS) have the advantage of tackling climate change alongside supporting biodiversity and providing benefits to people. Habitats such as peatlands and forests contain large amounts of carbon and play an important part in reaching net zero. But to realise the full potential of NbS for climate change, there are numerous scientific and practical challenges to overcome. We still have a lot to learn about how carbon accumulates or is released from different habitats in different circumstances. It is equally important to understand how to integrate NbS with other land management objectives to make them financially viable


1.    Establishment of four mixed-habitat pilot sites across England.
2.    Comparative assessment of carbon storage and sequestration before, during and after              implementation of NbS approaches. 
3.    High resolution evidence on above and below-ground carbon storage, flux, biodiversity            and ecosystem function.
4.    Development of governance models and blended funding solutions.

Our Approach

Natural England will identify pilot sites, establishing partnerships and supporting them in delivering NbS, whilst conducting research to compare carbon storage and sequestration by habitat. RBG Kew will research carbon sequestration in biodiverse habitats. Evidence shows how pivotal fungi are in facilitating carbon storage: RBG Kew’s research will enrich this evidence. Our academic partners will combine this work with social and economic data, creating a landscape modelling tool. The Environment Agency will work with the pilot areas, developing governance and blended funding models, providing a mechanism for holistic environmental management. The Forestry Commission will offer expertise in developing carbon standards.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Mike Morecroft, Natural England.

Research team / project partners
This is a Defra-BEIS project supported by the Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund and led by Natural England, Environment Agency, RBG Kew (and academic partners) and the Forestry Commission. 

Nbs Partners