Latest News

Fenland SOIL Successfully Secure Funding From Natural England For Paludiculture Exploration Study

Fenland SOIL Successfully Secure Funding From Natural England For Paludiculture Exploration Study

Fenland SOIL are pleased to announce that we have secured funding from the Natural England Paludiculture Exploration Fund (PEF) with a grant of £450,000 to run until April 2025.

The Paludiculture Exploration Fund, grant scheme is managed and delivered by Natural England and is open to projects focused on tackling the barriers to developing commercially viable paludiculture on lowland peat soils in England.

Maintaining water levels just below the soil surface (between 10 and 30 centimetres) ensures emissions from peat soils are kept to a minimum and offers opportunities for growing new crops suited to wetter growing conditions.

Over 80 potential crops have been identified in the DEFRA review ‘An Assessment of the potential for paludiculture in England and Wales’, and paludiculture has been identified as a potential option to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from lowland peat soils whilst still maintaining agricultural production.

The Fenland SOIL PEF project will be split into two major parts;

Part 1 : An expansion of previous landscape opportunity mapping campaign to four new IDBs

Part 2: A commercial scale paludiculture trial.

The locations of both parts of the project are to be announced following communications with landowners in these districts. The new IDBs will cover a total area of 25,601 ha, bringing the total area opportunity mapped by Fenland SOIL to 36,800 ha by the end of the project.

Commenting on the grant Megan Hudson, General Manager, Fenland SOIL

At Fenland SOIL we continue to move forward, bringing growers, industry, government, academia and environmental groups together to find practical solutions to farming lowland agricultural peat. This award gives us a real opportunity to explore the commercial opportunities for wet crops and if a viable commercial market can be created.

Fenland SOIL will be collaborating with Cranfield University, NIAB, the Centre for Landscape Regeneration and UKCEH, providing support in particular with hydrological analysis and biodiversity survey work through the project.

The Fenland SOIL team will expand to accommodate the project and is currently recruiting for a Research Officer to join the team. Applications can be made via LinkedIn.

The DEFRA Press release for this project and the Lowland Agricultural Task Force Report is available here.

Keeping you up-to-date

To have the latest news and updates delivered straight to your inbox, join our mailing list.

Fenland Soil

Complete the details below to be added to our mailing list: