Wansbeck Restoration for Climate Change (WRCC) will restore mixed habitats, showcasing how different landowners can come together to address climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote carbon storage, in a way that benefits nature and society. WRCC will create/restore 6 priority habitats over 10 sites across 3 estates totalling 144.1 ha of direct habitat improvement/creation in rural Northumberland restoring 6,303 ha of river catchment in the Mid-Northumberland national character area. 

Northumberland Rivers Catchment Partnership video

Groundwork NE & Cumbria has been awarded almost £600,000 by Natural England to pursue its Wansbeck Restoration for Climate Change (WRCC) project. It is one of only six pioneering nature projects across England to receive funding to trial ways to capture carbon and mitigate the impacts of climate change. At the heart of the project are nature based solutions, restoring natural habitats to tackle the environmental crisis.  

The Wansbeck project will work over 144 hectares of farmland in Northumberland spanning the Wallington Hall, Middleton North and Little Harle estates to restore landscapes and habitats including grasslands, peaty pockets and woodland. The work will also assess how carbon is captured and stored across different habitats, and how nature-based solutions can successfully be used to tackle climate change in a farmed landscape. 




Peatland stores more carbon than woodland

  • Enhance Carbon Storage
  • Improve Biodiversity
  • Help Flood Prevention & Better Water Quality


Species-rich grassland

A diverse range of species in grassland habitats improves the whole local environment from the roots up

  • Improve Soil Health
  • Enhance Biodiversity
  • Increase Carbon Storage


Sampling Methods

Monitoring is a crucial part of the restoration project in order to gather a reliable scientific evidence base

  • Soil Monitoring
  • Vegetation Monitoring
  • Gas Flux Monitoring


Decidious Woodland

Deciduous woodland provides huge carbon storage, and supports a rich biodiversity

  • Broadens Biodiversity
  • Great Carbon Capture
  • Regulation of microclimate



Hedges help to capture carbon, increase biodiversity, and improve connectivity

  • Improves Biodiversity
  • Assists Water Management
  • Aids Soil Health & Erosion Control


River Corridors

Restored river corridors provide greater biodiversity and assist with natural flood management

  • More natural rivers
  • Contribute to Recreation & Beauty
  • Assist Natural Flood Management & Water Quality

More information on priority habitats:

Project funded by

Natural England Logo
HM Government Logo
Ray Wind Funds Logo
The Shears Foundation Logo
Great Northumberland Forest Logo

Partnered with

Environment Agency Logo
National Trust Logo
Woodland Trust Logo


Middleton North Logo
Northumbria University Logo
Northumberland County Council Logo
Forestry England Logo