Finding Hope In Grassroots Nature-Based Solutions

We are very concerned by indications that the UK Government plans to water down or scrap key environmental laws in an attempt to boost economic development and growth.

Deregulation would allow industries to profit from activities that harm nature by removing the incentives and penalties that encourage responsible behaviour, leaving fragile natural ecosystems unprotected.

It also ignores the immutable fact that all life on Earth depends on thriving natural ecosystems.



Humans require thriving natural ecosystems to survive. Nature provides clean air and water; and healthy soil and food.

Beyond the basics, nature is also essential for human physical, mental, and spiritual health – giving us joy and making life worth living.

As for the economy, the World Economic Forum 2020 report calculated that a nature-positive economy (that protects and restores nature) would create 395 million new jobs and over $10 trillion in business opportunities. In fact, expanding conservation areas would yield a return of at least $5 for every $1 spent and boost global economic output by $250 billion annually.


30% FOR NATURE BY 2030

DEF stands with the other UK conservation NGOs defending nature and urging our supporters to pressure the government to keep their net zero and nature positive promises to achieve the vision of 30% of the UK for nature by 2030.

In particular, we are calling for the government to keep their manifesto promise to implement the ELM scheme that will pay farmers public money for public goods (being paid tax payers’ money to provide environmental services on less productive areas of their farms – by protecting and restoring woodlands, meadows, and wetlands that provide wildlife habitat, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and soil erosion, and clean up air and water quality to the benefit of us all).

In Devon, our vision is at least 30% of Devon for nature by 2030, and every project we fund helps take us closer toward that goal.



So, while disagreements rage at Westminster, it’s never been more important to focus on what we can do at grassroots level.

We can lead by example and start changing the world in tangible positive ways here on our doorstep, today!

DEF specialises in identifying the most innovative and impactful local nature-based solutions that tackle both the climate and nature emergencies – providing them with funding and mentoring to help them kick-start or scale-up, accelerating and amplifying their positive impact.

We look to nature for inspiration and see that symbiotic relationships are how to survive and thrive in difficult times.

DEF constantly looks for ways to collaborate – linking people, ideas, and funds to achieve far more by working together than the sum of our individual parts.

We also love showcasing project successes that inspire others to get involved in taking positive action too.



In our first two years, DEF awarded over £435K to 33 brilliant grassroots projects working hard to make positive change happen on the ground.

Some examples of projects we’ve enabled include:

  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Pollinator Habitats
  • Native Tree Nurseries
  • Rewilding
  • Species Reintroductions
  • Biochar
  • Mycoremediation (using mycelium to clean up pollution)
  • Seaweed Farming
  • Seagrass Restoration (coming soon!)
  • Plastic Clean Up
  • And so much more!


If you’d like to join forces with us to help even more good things happen for nature here in Devon, please get in touch.

You can help us by donating, bringing new projects to our attention, and following us on social media @devon_enviro and sharing our work.

No-one knows what the future holds – whether we can make enough of a difference to make a dent on the negative things in the world – but we do know that life is more rewarding when we spend our time and energy trying!

“Fortunately, nature is amazingly resilient: places we have destroyed, given time and help, can once again support life, and endangered species can be given a second chance.” – Dr. Jane Goodall

“It’s surely our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth.” – Sir David Attenborough