With most of us spending a great deal more time indoors right now, nature is taking the opportunity to spread out and flourish. From mountain goats populating town centres in Wales to rare giant turtles returning to beaches in the US and Thailand.

But thankfully, humans don’t always have to retreat from the world in order to help it. Giving the environment space to thrive has been possible long before the coronavirus lockdown started. And to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis, it has to continue once we’re able to emerge.

Here are a few stories about how giving nature some space, and a helping hand, can have big benefits for both humans and wildlife:

The Eden Project

The ‘largest rainforest in captivity’ started out as a huge china clay pit; the land left rocky and barren by years of mining activity.

The charity is a partner of Good Energy’s, and also works with partners around the world to deliver huge ecological restoration projects that benefit livelihoods, air quality and biodiversity.  

Wildflowers growing around solar panels.

Solar farms

Yes! Solar farms can turn once underused arable plots into biodiverse land where vegetation and wildlife is allowed to flourish. Several studies have been carried out which show a biodiversity increase.

And we’ve made sure this is the case on our six solar farms too by planting wildflowers, providing access to grazing livestock and encouraging beekeepers to use the land.

Rewilding animals

Britain was once a far wilder land, with vast forests stalked by wolves. Restoring landscapes by supporting the return of indigenous species of plants and animals has been argued to be a powerful natural climate solution.

While we don’t have to worry about wolves any time soon, there have been several successful projects involving re-introducing wild animals to settings that they once populated. One example is beavers being brought back to the Forest of Dean.

Since they were re-introduced back in 2017, the area has seen an increase in soil quality, and the dams have provided a natural buffer to floods.

A beaver in a river.
Seagrass under water, lit by beams of sunlight.

Welsh seagrass

It’s been disappearing from our coastlines over the past century, but in March, it was announced that a million seagrass seeds were being planted off the coast of Pembrokeshire.

The wonder plant absorbs carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests, is a habitat for fish, and cleans up pollution from the ocean too.

While these are large scale examples of regeneration, there are plenty of small things that households and communities can do to help others and nature. Sowing seeds to provide plenty of flowers for pollinators. Supporting organic growers or donating to tree planting projects. Shopping for a neighbour so they don’t need to go out. And saving energy with these tips.

So, even though our world feels smaller at the moment, we all have the power to make a big difference for the planet.