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NbSI Documentary series on Nature-based Solutions in Action in the UK

Watch how nature-based solutions are being implemented across the UK in cities, rivers to coasts, and highland environments through these 3 engaging short films.
Nature based solutions in action with a green background and 3 aerial photos of country fields, a city, and wetland.
NbSI (2021)


Research shows that further climate warming and biodiversity loss are now unavoidable. However, we still have time to make a lasting difference: i.e. to keep warming below dangerous levels, stop further depletion of the diversity of life on Earth and make the world a better and just place for all.

The Nature-based Solutions Initiative, meanwhile, defines Nature-based Solutions (NbS) as actions that work with and enhance nature so as to help people adapt to change and disasters.

Nature was a major theme within the events and negotiations at COP26, with over 130 countries committing to halt and reverse deforestation & land degradation by 2030, and a surge of pledged funding for Nature-based Solutions.

The Nature-based Solutions Initiative, working with the filmmaker Matthew Mullholland, has produced a series of short documentaries showcasing Nature-based Solutions in action from around the UK.

The three documentaries explore working with nature in a range of environments:

  • Film 1:Working with nature: Cities
  • Film 2:Working with nature: Rivers to Coast
  • Film 3:Working with nature: Highlands

The documentaries explore how working with nature and biodiversity (restoring, connecting and protecting natural habitats) can provide solutions to the causes and consequences of climate change whilst creating jobs, supporting economic recovery and also providing mental and physical health benefits. The films are led by conversations with local people involved in or affected by the projects including farmers, local businesses and conservation organisations, complemented by interviews with world-leading climate scientists and biodiversity experts.

Viewers are taken on a journey to floodplain meadows, woodlands, salt-marshes, oyster beds, the highlands, farms and estuaries benefiting from protecting and restoring nature, as well as to cities where green infrastructure is helping to reduce climate impacts while bringing people closer to nature.

Visit the NbSI Youtube Channel to watch the films on their release dates, and to learn more about NbS, explore the rest of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative website. TheNature-based Solutions Initiative is an interdisciplinary programme of research, education and policy advice based in the Department of Biology at the University of Oxford. Its mission is to enhance understanding of the potential of nature-based solutions to address multiple global challenges whilst supporting the health of ecosystems and respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

This weADAPT article is an abridged version of the original textfrom the Nature-Based Solution Initiative website, published on 5 November 2021. Please access the original text for research purposes, full references, and to quote text.

Film 1 – Working with Nature: Cities

This film was orginally posted on the 6th of November 2021.

In this film, we explore the many ways people are working with nature in urban areas, focussing on Newcastle-upon-Tyne and London, two contrasting cities both suffering from the impacts of climate change:

  • Explore the ‘living laboratory’ that is the National Green Infrastructure Facility at the University of Newcastle. They strive to create a robust evidence base for a range of green infrastructure approaches, such as sustainable drainage systems, to enable people to design and implement them with confidence.
  • The film also highlights the growing importance of nature-based solutions for health and wellbeing, particularly in urban areas like London.

Film 2 – Working with Nature: Rivers to Coasts

This film was orginally posted on the 9th of November 2021.

Discover how dedicated groups of people around the UK are working with nature to build resilience to climate change, protect biodiversity, support livelihoods, and slow warming.

Watch the film to learn how:

  • Floodplain meadows, which are crucial for biodiversity, can become a connected landscape and a valuable resource in sustainable farming
  • Mitigation measures are being used to protect blue carbon reserves from pollutants and wastewater in coastal ecosystems, such as seagrass and mudflats
  • Oyster ecosystems are being restored, helping to filter toxins out of the ocean water

Film 3 – Working with Nature: Highlands

This film was orginally posted on the 12th of November 2021.

Discover nature-based solutions in the highlands in this short film, which covers:

  • Restoration in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland, and how this is making landscapes more resilient to change
  • Sustainable biodiversity-friendly forestry and regenerative farming in the Bunloit Estate in Scotland, which, in partnership with the local community, is helping to restore degraded land
  • How eco-houses can be used to lock away carbon

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