Lundy Island

Blue Biosphere is a net-zero economic development program collaborating across Torridge and North Devon (TND) to stimulate marine & catchment jobs & raise social mobility.

This project builds on Natural Capital work in the Defra North Devon Marine Pioneer as part of the South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) programme. North Devon’s Natural Capital Plan and Natural Capital Asset & Risk Register, which were major outputs of the Pioneer, will support the development of Blue Biosphere business cases.

In the new programme, staff from the University’s Marine Conservation Research Group will be leading the research input into three business cases:

  • Biosphere Blue Carbon – delivering innovative habitat projects such as seagrass, saltmarsh, oyster reefs and kelp forests. Activities will include geographical site analysis, investment case & commercial strategy and building evidence to extend to other UK coastal areas.

  • 3D Biodiverse Ocean Farming – seeking to reinvent UK aquaculture through innovative models which use the full water column to create multiple food crops and a rich marine ecosystem. This strand seeks to create a working model that captures & monetises the full commercial spectrum of benefits.

  • “No-Take & Harvest” – exploring the potential for Lundy’s Marine Conservation Zone and ‘No-Take Zone’ to be replicated around our shorelines as a commercial model that enhances fisheries, generates carbon & biodiversity revenues and develops tourism in local areas.

“We are excited to be able to continue our natural capital research with the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere to prime investment that will benefit both environment and economy.”

Dr Sian Rees, Associate Professor of Social-Ecological Systems

“This award recognises the unique Natural Capital assets that are within the biosphere designation. These include part of our treasured National Parks, some of the most important agricultural assets within Devon, and a huge marine area, which includes the Isle of Lundy. Within this, there is a population of nearly 200,000 people all of whom have a relationship with the Biosphere but deserve to participate in this opportunity to improve their economic and social wellbeing. It is our biosphere’s ambition to be the lead for Natural Capital activity, regionally, nationally and internationally, this award is a significant step forward in this journey.”

Tim Jones, Chairman of the North Devon Biosphere Foundation