Skip to main content

Nature Returns Programme

How do we tackle the twin challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss? The Nature Returns Programme aims to provide some of these answers by harnessing the power of science and collaboration. By working together, we can help fill critical evidence gaps and support the delivery of Net Zero.

Nature Returns will provide a better understanding of what are known as ‘nature-based solutions’ (NbS) and help to accelerate landscape scale, multiple outcome approaches that tackle the climate and biodiversity crises in a joined-up way. We are doing this by building the evidence of how much carbon different habitats can take up and store, how this changes over time, what mechanisms control this and if it relates to biodiversity. We are also learning how NbS can work practically at a landscape scale and how they can best be facilitated.

Government funding has been central to supporting conservation and nature recovery, but private finance mechanisms are emerging as a complementary way to deliver environmental outcomes. Nature Returns is exploring opportunities to take advantage of blended public and private funding for landscape-scale activity and identifying enablers to support the injection of greater sums of private finance.

Natural England is leading the Nature Returns Programme in partnership with the Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, RBG Kew at Wakehurst and six Local Partnership Projects. Our work is co-sponsored by Defra and DESNZ, which is helping to ensure that emerging results can be integrated into developing policy. From carbon capture to sustaining biodiversity, we need evidence-based answers and community-based action. By investing in nature, we will all reap the benefits.

Together, we will communicate this work and raise its profile over the short and long term. We want to position nature-based solutions at the heart of making the planet a better place for us all.

Nature Returns Commissioned Reports

The following reports have also been published externally
Governance of Blended Finance.
The Aggregation of Ecosystem Services Suppliers.

Contact Information

If you would like to find out more or keep up to date with our progress, please contact us at


We are aware that some of the report content does not meet current accessibility requirements, in particular the colour contrast and text size in some of the figures. We are working to fix these issues and are aiming to publish more accessible versions. This statement will be reviewed by 15th July 2024.

If you require any of the reports in a different format, or have any other feedback about the content’s accessibility, please contact

Downloads available for this record

File Uploaded
TIN220 Nature Returns Field Survey Methodology Edition 1.0, PDF, 5.2 MB 2024/06/10
NERR139 Nature Returns Interim Report Edition 1, PDF, 8.0 MB 2024/05/15