The North Devon UNESCO Biosphere is an important meeting place of rich natural and cultural heritage in a stunning world-class environment from dunes, grassland and moors, towns and villages to 12 miles beyond Lundy Island into the Bristol Channel. From seals and red deer to the diversity of our rolling countryside, coastal regions and marine habitats, our UNESCO biosphere reserve celebrates life by recognising the connections between people and nature.
As part of the global MAB network, our Biosphere provides an open forum for bringing people together with their natural surroundings, to empower them to unlock their potential and using their local and scientific knowledge to model solutions for sustainable living.
We seek to inspire people to restore connections to their land and share a way of living with nature that builds a positive future we can be proud of. People living in this landscape can demonstrate their way of living with nature through a number of different projects that conserve this precious area, build community wealth and life quality all whilst contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our Biosphere is also a vibrant landscape for scientific research and is host to a number of ecological and natural capital pilots, including two Pioneer Programmes as part of the 25 Year Environment Plan. One current research projects include Environmental Intelligence technology, using AI and launching a marketplace for natural capital projects, helping landowners implement nature-based projects and be remunerated for their efforts.
The North Devon Biosphere Foundation is dedicated to furthering the aims of the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve Partnership. It is committed to the strategy and action plan of the partnership and works closely with all partners in the Biosphere.
Devon Woods is a 6-year partnership currently in year two, which will create up to of 350ha woodland across a network of sites. The project will be for the benefit of improved water quality but will also sequester carbon, reduce flood risk and enhance biodiversity.
This is a partnership between the Environment Agency, North Devon Biosphere Foundation, Natural England, Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust. It will deliver woodland creation, enhanced woodland management and infrastructure specifically to achieve Water Framework Directive (WFD) outcomes, with multiple benefits to flood risk and biodiversity.
The project will provide the resource to engage landowners and support them in creating woodland through a suite of existing incentives (e.g. England Woodland Creation Offer), specific small grants for rural Sustainable Drainage Systems and Natural Flood Management measures alongside forest infrastructure such as access roads. These will be delivered or facilitated through advice and guidance by this partnership project.