Team 1A: How might we find and secure suitable land for wetland creation?
Wetlands provide a variety of benefits both environmentally and socio-economically, yet the UKs wetlands have decreased dramatically over time. Identifying suitable land for wetland conversion and providing incentives for landowners to engage are two established barriers to restoration.
At Field Flow, we have developed the idea of a Wetland Suitability Index that uses GIS based approach utilising data from existing sources.
By assessing and balancing different factors, the Wetland Suitability Index can identify specific regions and locations with high potential for wetland creation. Potential areas will be cross-checked against an existing feature lists to identify the best strategy for landowners to create a viable wetland patch.
Government funded initiatives and incentives will be used to encourage landowners to join the wetland creation scheme. These include a tier product certification system for products produced on participating land, as well as subsidies feeding into the new post-Brexit systems which are currently being trialled.
Alongside the financial incentives and benefits of wetland construction, a collaborative network between participants would result in extra benefits and support for each participant as well as the surrounding community. This includes improved water quality, flood protection, and increased biodiversity.
The construction of these small-scale wetland projects will result in a cumulative impact approach, utilising the idea that a little goes a long way!