Skip to main content

Apply now for grant to support private investment in nature

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Payments to support private investment
Image of a farm building and sheep on a gradient
Credit: Odd Wellies

At the end of November, we shared details of a grant designed to help farmers attract private investment into nature. 

We said we’d blog again when it was time to apply and we’re pleased to say that from today, you can.  

Through the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) individual grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 are available to farmers and farm groups. If you are not a farmer or part of a farming group, you will need to clearly demonstrate how your project will help farmers to attract private investment into nature markets. The total amount available through the fund is £5 million. 

We want to support innovative projects that align with the Environmental Improvement Plan, assist farmers to trial new ways of earning from ecosystem services, attract investment and create a scalable investment model for wider adoption by farmers.   

The process to apply for a NEIRF grant is competitive. 

The fund supports activities in England. That said, we may fund activities to prepare projects where benefits apply across borders with Wales or Scotland. This will be based on the environmental benefits to England. 

The official guidance and application form for the grant can be found on GOV.UK. It includes details on eligibility, how your project will be assessed and examples of how to meet the assessment criteria. 

Watch our webinar on the grant.

As mentioned, the application form can be found on the same page as the guidance. Once you have filled in the form and signed the declaration and sent it to the Environment Agency (the organisation administering the grant), you will be notified of the outcome. If successful, you’ll be sent a grant agreement to consider.   

The deadline to apply is midday, 16 February 2024. 

Good luck to all who apply!  

Further reading

If you’d like to learn more about government’s wider plans to ensure farmers can access payments from both the public and private sector for the environmental benefits they produce, do take a look at the Nature Markets Framework and the new Green Finance Strategy. 

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Andrew posted on

    We planted a 25 acre woodland last year with a Forestry Commission grant and a 6 acre Wild flower meadow on the border of our Village of Dunholme near lincoln. This year we are planting hedges along side our Bridle road from the village to the woodland which we are planning a circular permissive access back to the village.
    We are also planting an Orchard in the new year with the support from our local county council next to new woodland. In the near future we would like to create a sensory garden and bird hive where our local schools can visit and learn about Nature and Climate Change., when woodland starts to get established we then would like to create pathways for all disability’s though the woodlands for all our local community with picnic, benches for families to come and enjoy and explore.

    • Replies to Andrew>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for visiting our blog and for sharing the great work you're doing and planning.

      Through our schemes, we want to help farmers achieve profitable food production and the recovery of nature - we believe they go hand in hand. Healthy soil, abundant pollinators and clean water are the foundations of food security. The payments for hedgerows and Integrated Pest Management (IPM2 specifically) offered through the Sustainable Farming Incentive might be of interest, so I'll link to the SFI guidance in case you want to learn more:

      Local to you, we recently awarded funding to the Lincoln and Witham Valley Farming and Nature Network (LWFNN) in the second round of Landscape Recovery. The project team will focus on connecting and enhancing habitats in the area, widening benefits to society and sharing knowledge of nature-friendly land management (among many other things!) Most projects set up their own sites so you can see their progress - that's worth looking out for, but we do share 'Project Spotlights' every month on the blog, so do subscribe if you haven't already.

      Finally, some further reading if you have a moment between all your activities! Our colleagues at the Forestry Commission have their own blog:

      Best wishes,


Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.