JNCC have announced a new project to tackle excess nitrogen pollution. ‘Nitrogen Futures’ will bring together available data on nitrogen emissions and estimate the benefits of different possible policy options to reduce pollution and improve people’s health and nature conservation.
Nitrogen pollution is a major driver of biodiversity loss in the UK. Around 60% of the UK’s nature conservation sites and 17% of the UK’s total landmass are threatened by damaging levels of excess atmospheric nitrogen.
As part of this project, the researchers will test possible local measures to reduce and mitigate nitrogen pollution around conservation sites, for example:
- Introducing low emission ‘buffer zones’ around protected sites
- Planting trees to recapture airborne nitrogen
- Initiatives to target pollution from transport and combustion sources such as Clean Air Zones
- Reduction in emissions from power generation and industry
The project is run by JNCC in partnership with (Defra), the UK Devolved Administrations and the Country Nature Conservation Bodies (CNCBs). Research will be led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) to inform policy development at UK, national and local scale.