Millions in funding for natural heritage

Eleven projects have been awarded a share of £15.6million National Lottery funding to support nature’s recovery.

Since 1994, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded over £1.8billion to more than 4,200 land and nature projects across the UK. This latest round of 11 projects will protect nature and inspire communities to play a vital role in securing a thriving future for our natural world.

After a dry summer when scientists emphasised the impact the climate emergency has had on the UK’s waterways, five new projects will rejuvenate rivers, lakes and wetlands.

Photo: Stover Lake

Over £5m is set to benefit the River Sherbourne in Coventry, the River Leven in Fife and the River Eden in Cumbria, whilst a 10-acre lake in Devon’s Stover Park and wetlands in the South Downs National Park will also be revitalised.

The projects will restore priority habitats and support a range of threatened species, including downy emerald dragonflies and little ramshorn whirlpool snails. Waterways will be enhanced so they are more accessible, better connect urban spaces and inspire people to care for nature.

Thanks to a further £10.5m National Lottery funding, new life will be breathed into Haigh Woodland Park in Wigan and the ‘Lost Woods’ of Low Weald and Downs in Sussex, while habitat for pollinators will be restored at several parks across Belfast.

Heritage and nature at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens and Nunhead Cemetery in London will be rejuvenated and protected, and Beckford's Tower in Bath will be restored and reconnected to its surrounding landscape.

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I’m delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we are supporting projects which recognise the vital role of rivers and lakes as the lifeblood and heartland of communities.

“These projects, as well as a raft of others focused on our woodlands, parks and gardens, will help to ensure our natural heritage is preserved and enhanced for the benefit of all.”

Drew Bennellick, Head of Land and Nature Policy at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Thriving, healthy and connected natural heritage is essential to all our futures and is our best defence in addressing the impacts of climate change on all forms of heritage.

“We are keen to support projects of all sizes that support nature’s recovery, deliver nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis and help people reconnect to nature.”

Eleven projects

  • Access to Eden (The Eden Rivers Trust): £181,190 development* funding towards a grant of £2,071,597 total grant
  • Beckford’s Tower (Beckford Tower Trust): £3,340,600 total grant
  • Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens (Birmingham Botanical & Horticultural Society): £590,814 development funding awarded towards a £5,000,000 grant
  • Haigh Woodland Park (Wigan Council): £4,037,500 total grant
  • Leven River Park (Green Action Trust): £246,857 development funding towards a grant of £3,129,213
  • ‘Lost Woods’ of Low Weald and Downs (The Woodland Trust): £2,321,100 total grant
  • Nunhead Cemetery (Southwark Council): £108,294 development funding awarded towards a £2,888,680 grant
  • Pollinator highways, Belfast (Buglife): £179,294 total grant
  • Restoring Stover Park (Devon County Council): £2,425,900 total grant
  • Sherbourne Valley Project (Warwickshire Wildlife Trust): £2,069,200 total grant
  • South Downs National Park (South Downs National Park Trust): £130,511 development funding towards a grant of £1,418,905

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