Wendling Beck Environment Project

Creating one of the first landscape-scale, natural capital projects in the UK

The Wendling Beck Environment Project (WBEP) is a pioneering habitat creation, nature recovery and regenerative farming project in the heart of Norfolk.

The Wendling Beck is a tributary of the chalk-fed River Wensum and connects land just north of the market town of Dereham.  Along the course of the river, the Wendling Beck Environment Project (WBEP) seeks to deliver a landscape-scale project, comprising almost 2,000 acres of grassland, woodland and wetland habitats. It will restore river quality and adopt regenerative farming practices. 

The project will provide a unique landscape, enable wider access, education and learning opportunities, and deliver improvements in biodiversity, water, soil, and air.

For local developers and planning authorities, the Wendling Beck Environment Project provides an opportunity to meet Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requirements through the purchase of biodiversity units and is one of Natural England’s BNG Credit Scheme pilots. WBEP also aims to provide other ecosystem services such as nutrient neutrality, natural flood management and carbon sequestration . 

The Wendling Beck Alliance oversees the development of the project, and comprises four local farmers, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Norfolk County Council along with four key advisors and facilitators: The Nature Conservancy, Norfolk Rivers Trust, Norfolk Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), and Anglian Water.

The Wendling Beck Environment Project is one of the Environment Agency’s Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) projects and also a Natural England Nature Recovery Project.   It is seen as a blueprint for developing and showcasing new models of nature based finance that will have landscape-scale habitat creation, nature recovery and people engagement at their heart.

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