Wilder Carbon Press Pack
Embargoed until 6:00am on Monday 17th October 2022
Wilder Carbon Press Pack
See below for relevant materials
Main Press release
- “Conservation grade” voluntary carbon units available in UK under Wilder Carbon Standard, to be announced at the Natural Capital Investment Conference
- UK's First Nature Based Carbon Standard that assures end to end integrity in voluntary carbon market
- Wilder Carbon projects live today generating carbon units for UK businesses who are on a net zero journey, to support UK nature restoration on a massive scale
- An innovative environmental improvement project which enables businesses to invest in nature restoration with the potential of financial returns has been launched
Conservation grade carbon units produced under a ground-breaking, nature-based standard have today [Monday 17th October 2022] been made available for sale to voluntary corporate buyers.
The Standard was published in November 2021 by Wilder Carbon – a private not-for-profit company aiming to use carbon finance to restore nature at scale in the UK – and its independent board of technical experts who, acting as guardians for the standard, Certify aligned projects.
Carbon units purchased from Wilder Carbon are used to finance new nature recovery projects across multiple carbon rich habitats, that are delivered by vetted third parties with a track-record of safeguarding conservation landholdings. The first units made available for purchase today will be used to finance the Somerset Wildlife Trust’s restoration of an 80-hectare site in the Somerset Levels called Honeygar, and Kent Wildlife Trust’s Heather Corrie Vale 50-hectare Golf Course wilding project.
The carbon units produced by the restoration of Honeygar and Heather Corrie Vale will be externally verified by Soil Association Certification (as per existing UK habitat codes).
By only allowing the carbon units to finance restoration of native habitat, Wilder Carbon also certifies voluntary carbon projects that will have the maximum possible positive impact on nature.
Finally, Wilder Carbon has also developed a robust process for ensuring buyers of its carbon units are demonstrably reducing their carbon emissions. Information from this end-to-end process is kept on an open-access register.
This should all assure the public, buyers, project developers, and investors that Wilder Carbon projects simultaneously address the interconnected climate and nature crisis – features notably lacking from many previous voluntary carbon schemes including commercial woodland planting schemes here in the UK.
These co-benefits and a robust end-to-end process means Wilder Carbon is the only UK voluntary nature-based carbon scheme that can claim to be offering “conservation grade” carbon units. As such it aims to achieve a premium price for its units.
 [Wilder Carbon is aiming for a minimum £75 per tCo2e as its base price, whilst OECD calculates that £123 is required to deliver the impact required to meet 2030 targets internationally. This is therefore a step in the right direction for high-integrity voluntary carbon.
Additional notes - Wilder Carbon and the Wilder Carbon Standard
Wilder Carbon is a private not-for-profit company that has been incubated within the Kent Wildlife Trust in collaboration with other environmental NGOs and partners. Its mission is to leverage carbon finance to rapidly scale up native habitat restoration in the UK in response to climate change and biodiversity loss.
Kent Wildlife Trust received £100,000 from the Environment Agency and Defra’s Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund to help establish the project and to develop it to the point where it is able to attract private investment.
The methodology published by Wilder Carbon – referred to as the ‘Wilder Carbon Standard’ – has developed over several years by its independent board of cross-sectoral experts with significant nature-based solutions experience. It has been built on the principle of using the best existing data in the best possible way to deliver real impact now, in-line with the Paris Climate Agreement, learning by doing, and continuous improvement.
The Wilder Carbon Standard contains a number of features which make it ‘High Integrity’, meaning the units produced under the Standard can be considered high quality and will be attractive to corporate buyers.
Firstly, Wilder Carbon will vet third parties to ensure they are highly-qualified to restore the habitats that generate the carbon units. For these third parties, this usually means having an established track record of long-term habitat restoration and management in the UK.
Once these third parties have been vetted, they become ‘Trusted Deliverers’ for Wilder Carbon and can develop projects to benefit from carbon finance raised by Wilder Carbon. Projects and associated carbon units are validated and verified by another third party – Soil Association Certification – which has a long track record of certification in the UK through its work in organic farming.
Carbon units developed at these projects are only sold by Wilder Carbon to ‘Approved Buyers’ – corporates that are demonstrably reducing their carbon emissions and have passed Wilder Carbon’s proprietary process for vetting them.
The Wilder Carbon Standard only enables projects that restore native habitat. This means that Wilder Carbon can certify that their projects are genuinely nature positive: simultaneously addressing the interconnected problems of climate change and biodiversity loss. Wilder Carbon is able to measure the associated biodiversity uplift at projects using UK Government-published methodologies and metrics as a proxy in parallel to monitoring species changes over time on a site-by-site basis.
Because the first carbon units are sold before projects have been delivered, these units can be purchased in advance of verification as Estimated Issuance Units (EIU). Upon verification, an EIU becomes a Wilder Carbon Unit (WCU), which represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) locked up or avoided. EIUs are verified as WCUs at year 5, year 10, and then at 10-yearly intervals by Soil Association Certification.
View the Wilder Carbon Standards for Nature and Climate
 as well as deliberate conservative estimation in-line with GHG emissions accounting – which also links to projects being based on the most biodiverse, and therefore climate adaptable, habitats possible, resulting in greater long-term stability of carbon units generated.
Additional notes - The Wilder Carbon Pathfinder Projects
Honeygar is an 80-hectare former dairy farm located in the Somerset Levels which the Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT) expect to restore using carbon finance raised through Wilder Carbon.
The finance raised by Wilder Carbon Honeygar will be used by SWT to re-wet its peat soils. Ecologically, this should not only initiate carbon sequestration, but also provide a significant new area of wetland habitat which will support a wider variety, and greater abundance, of flora and fauna.
Within the Somerset Levels, Honeygar is located in the Avalon Marshes, one of the largest and most important wetland areas in the UK. Honeygar is well connected to other high-value nature areas in the Avalon Marshes, such as Westhay Moor NNR, Westhay Heath, and Catcott nature reserves.
It therefore provides habitat connectivity – central pillar of government conservation policy after the Lawton review – as well as strengthening Somerset’s Nature Recovery Network.
LINK TO HONEYGAR PROJECT PROFILE PAGE
Heather Corrie Vale is located in the Darenth Valley in Kent, which is an extremely valuable part of the Nature Recovery Network, recognised by all the conservation organisations in the area.
The site is a recently abandoned golf course comprising maturing woodland and amenity grassland mosaic. The site will be managed through natural processes in order to sequester greater levels of soil and above ground carbon, and significant improvements for biodiversity, creating a haven for wildlife.
Leveraging finance from Wilder Carbon Units, stacked spatially with BNG units will raise the vital funds to support the management of the site and its ongoing protection into the future.
With its High Integrity end-to-end process in place, Wilder Carbon now expect to match a significant pipeline of projects with buyers, and begin realising the huge potential of nature-based carbon removal in the UK across a range of carbon rich multi habitat landscapes.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said:
“Wilder Carbon is a pioneering project and Kent Wildlife Trust should be applauded for leading the way in establishing this innovative method for the private sector to invest in protecting, improving and valuing our shared environment.
“Nature has an intrinsic importance and inherent value to our wellbeing and private sector investment in the environment is essential if we are to make our communities climate-resilient and protect the environment for future generations.
“Projects like Wilder Carbon which are being developed using grants from the £10 million Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund will deliver tangible environmental improvements and demonstrate how financial returns can be generated.”
Bruce Howard, Director of the Ecosystems Knowledge Network: “The Natural Capital Finance & Investment Conference is all about financial innovation that can deliver for climate and for nature. We are immensely proud to see Wilder Carbon on the stage today. Enterprises like this are going to be at the heart of a green future that is good for business, good for people and good for the natural environment that underpins everything.”
Evan Bowen-Jones Managing Director of Wilder Carbon, said: “We now know that we must restore at least 30% of the planets ecosystems to good health as part of fighting the climate crisis. We also know that biodiverse native landscapes are going to be the most adaptable, and therefore resilient to, the inescapable climate change that is now upon us. The UK has huge potential to deliver against this agenda because – ironically – our ecosystems are so degraded. Wilder Carbon provides a scaleable mechanism to pair ethically responsible private sector buyers with landowners and conservation agencies to fund the restoration that society needs. In doing so we can achieve UK net-zero 2050 targets quicker than currently planned, and we can create a more secure future for our children and grandchildren”.
Matt Prescott, Chair wilder Carbon Board Limited said: "The climate and nature crises can be tackled together through these carbon units. Responsible businesses transitioning to net zero in line with science can now match their forecast residual emissions with high integrity “conservation grade” voluntary carbon units in the UK. There’s urgency – projects available today – and there’s amazing potential for scale across the UK’s diverse but degraded habitats and landscapes. Join us!"
Paul Hadaway Director of Implementation at Wilder Carbon Ltd said: “We’re particularly proud that the second pathfinder for Wilder Carbon is in Kent. A 50ha former golf course which is being wilded into wood pasture. Both Honeygar and Heather Corrie Vale demonstrate the fundamental premise of Wilder Carbon – that ethical carbon investments can enable habitat restoration at a landscape scale in a virtuous circle tackling both the climate and nature crises”
Georgia Stokes Chief Executive at Somerset Wildlife Trust said: “Somerset Wildlife Trust is really proud to be a trusted deliverer with Wilder Carbon. Being a Trusted Deliverer means that we have the assurance we're working to high standards through the standards board and that our project has been checked and verified independently to make sure that we're going to deliver those carbon benefits and biodiversity gains”
More about Wilder Carbon Ltd
The Wilder Carbon mission is to safeguard nature by protecting and restoring carbon-rich native habitats across the UK for the benefit of climate, wildlife, and society, delivering genuine carbon removals.
Wilder Carbon Ltd. is a Not-for-Profit market leader in the high-integrity, voluntary, nature based, carbon market.
We facilitate the development of projects under the Wilder Carbon Standards and match these to Approved Buyers and Investors.
Wilder Carbon ethos is one of continual development and improvement of the Standards, and linked tools and systems to ensure that maximum possible positive impacts for nature and climate are delivered through certified projects.
We also act as secretariat to the independent Technical Standards Board who are the guardians for the Wilder Carbon Standards, which they formally sign off.
Wilder Carbon has partnered with Soil Association Certification who validate and verify all Wilder Carbon projects.
We manage a high-integrity registry that tracks and transparently displays the progress of each Wilder Carbon Project, which Approved Buyers EIUs have been sold to, and when each EIU is verified and retired.
The Wilder Carbon team, and Trusted Deliverer network, have hundreds of years of experience delivering conservation projects that benefit climate.
For General enquiries and Newsletter contact : info@wildercarboncom
For Press and interview inquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Notes - Natural Capital Investment conference 2022
“Now in its fifth year, the Natural Capital Finance & Investment Conference brings together experts from across the worlds of finance, Government and the environment to catalyse the emerging natural capital finance and investment market. Taking place in both London on Monday 17th October, and in Edinburgh on Tuesday 1st November, the conference will provide new insight into how UK institutions are driving forward private capital into nature-based solutions and identify new opportunities for UK investment. Leading figures on private finance and the environment will make the case for how only private finance can deliver at scale the restoration of UK natural habitats.”
Find our more HERE
On location interview opportunities
The Wilder Carbon Team will be on location and available for in-person interviews on the following dates:
Monday 17th October - Guildhall London Natural Capital Investment Conference
Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th October at Honeygar Wilder Carbon Project in Somerset
Friday 21st October at Heather Corrie Vale Project in Kent