Renowned for its natural beauty, Devon is one of the largest counties in Britain and one of the least densely populated. It’s therefore the perfect place to scale Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to redress nature’s balance and repair the damage we’ve caused.

Devon’s diverse natural habitats include: woodlands, wetlands, moorlands, meadows, hedgerows, rivers, estuaries, and many more beneath its coastal waters.

In recent decades, Devon’s natural assets have significantly diminished. To restore nature’s balance we need urgent, transformative action.

Increasing biodiversity in Devon will benefit three major sectors of the local economy:

Agriculture: Farming with nature increases wildlife, improves carbon sequestration, and soil and crop quality. It also reduces flooding, soil erosion, and pollution. Regenerative agriculture is better for wildlife and people.

Tourism: Eco-tourism provides opportunities to run wildlife safaris, promote eco-friendly stay-cations, reconnect holidaymakers with nature, and tap into a renewed appreciation of nature since Covid-19.

Fishing: Collaborative management of the fisheries for biodiversity gives fishermen more autonomy, enabling them to work less and catch more, and then sell traceable and sustainable ‘reserve seafood’ for higher profits.

There are already lots of brilliant environmental initiatives happening in Devon – including rewilding, regenerative agriculture, reintroduction of keystone species, and marine permaculture.

However, many of these initiatives are fledgling projects that need financial support to fully maximise their potential for positive impact.

The DEF is keen to support projects that protect and restore nature in Devon.

“Nature-based solutions are the biggest sources of hope in this era of climate and nature emergencies. If we learn to share space better with nature, and recognise its true value, we will be rewarded by seeing nature recover and thrive.”

The Devon Environment Foundation supports projects in the following areas: