Restoring Resilient Ecosystems

Photo credit: Robin Walls

Restoring Resilient Ecosystems (RestREco) is an innovative partnership project that aims to unpick and examine the essential elements required for ecosystem restoration, focusing on UK woodlands and grasslands. Funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), RestREco will consider complexity and resilience as fundamental aims for restoration projects, rather than attempting to re-create specific target ecosystems. This four-year project will bring together expertise from Cranfield University, the National Trust, University of Stirling, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and Forest Research, along with a range of project partners working in UK habitat restoration.

“Improving our ability to restore functional ecosystems is crucial to ensuring we restore nature and achieve net gain in line with Government plans ‘to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it’.”   

Photo credit: Sam Rogerson


RestREco aims to move restoration science forward, by considering complexity and resilience as fundamental aims for restoration projects.


We have adopted a natural experiment approach to investigate complexity and resilience within restored UK woodlands and grasslands at different stages of recovery.

Photo credit: Maico Geert Weites
Photo credit: Emily Waddell


Our RestREco team is made up of researchers from five UK institutions and a range of project partners, including conservation practitioners, environmental NGOs and policymakers.