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Heritage Lottery – Government’s £40million Green Recovery Challenge Fund Opens for Applications

Grants from £50,000 to £5m are now available to kick-start the nation’s green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I am delighted that we are distributing the Green Recovery Challenge Fund on behalf of Defra. We are committed to supporting the nature and environment sector quickly and effectively through this fund.”

Who is it for

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is open to environmental charities and partnerships that include at least one environmental charity, with projects in England that are ready to start.

All projects must contribute to at least one of the following themes:

  • nature conservation and restoration
  • nature based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation such as through tree planting and restoring peatland
  • connecting people with nature
  • Projects will be favoured that create or retain jobs, providing opportunities and benefits for all ages, including young people. Projects from both rural, urban and inshore marine areas are welcomed.

How to apply

Applications for grants up to £250,000 must be submitted by midday on 2 October 2020. For applications over £250,000, there is a two-step process, with initial expressions of interest required by midday on 24 September 2020.

Up to 100% of project costs will be available.

Please read the full criteria and application guidance before submitting your application.

Applications under £250k

When you are ready to apply, complete and submit your application via their Application Portal.
If you do not already have a logon you will need to register.

Applications over £250k: Expressions of Interest

For applications for a grant above £250,000 a short Expression of Interest (EOI) form is mandatory. Guidance on the questions to be answered and a copy of the form is available.

An assessment panel involving all the Fund partners will use the information you provide to decide whether or not to invite you to submit a full grant application. If you are not invited to apply we will explain our reason.

We will aim to respond to all EOIs within ten working days of the deadline. You will then have three weeks to submit a full application.

Click here to submit your Expression of Interest.

A greener future

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund, part of a wider HM Government green economic recovery jobs and skills package, will enable environmental charities and their partners to restore nature and tackle climate change.

The fund will help create up to 3,000 jobs such as ecologists, surveyors, nature reserve staff and education workers. In additional, it will safeguard up to 2,000 existing jobs in areas such as protecting species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, conservation rangers and connecting people with nature. It will also support suppliers in areas such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, and equipment and seed supply.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing the Green Recovery Challenge Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency, on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). It has been made possible by bringing forward funding announced at Budget 2020 including £10m from the Nature Recovery Fund and £30m of Nature for Climate Funding.

For more information click here.

Source: Heritage Fund


Free Trees for Schools and Communities

The Woodland trust want to make sure everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. So they’re giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities.

Successful tree pack applicants will receive their trees in March 2021. All their subsidised or free products have defined eligibility criteria; should you not meet those, or they consider the product to be otherwise unsuitable, they will offer the most appropriate product available.

For more information or to apply for a pack click here.


Pebble Fund

PEBBLE is the biodiversity improvement fund from South Staffs Water.

Funding of up to £10,000 is available for community projects within our supply area that create, restore or improve habitat.

Three levels of funding ranging from £500 to £10,000 is available to organisations keen to enhance biodiversity within the South Staffs Water area of supply.

You can apply for any amount of funding, this table is a guide to show you the amount of funding which has previously been awarded for projects.

Type of project  Previous projects received:

  • Pond creation/restoration £500 – £2,000
  • Community gardens and outdoor classroom (including sensory gardens) £500 – £4,000
  • Species specific habitat (e.g birds) £500 – £4,000
  • Wildflower areas and habitat restoration £500 – £4,000
  • Tree planting £1,000 – £5,000
  • Invasive non-native species £1,000 – £6,000
  • Ecological monitoring (and volunteering) £1,000 – £8,000
  • River restoration £1,500 – £10,000

Projects outside of these categories are accepted and the projects above are just a guide to help applicants avoid disappointment if their project is not fully funded. If your project falls into one of these categories but you feel your costs will exceed the amount stated, it may be beneficial to include a detailed cost breakdown with your application.

Dan Clark, Water Resources and Environment Manager for South Staffs Water, said:

“At South Staffs Water, we recognise the importance of the local environment, and the part we play in the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity. Increasing the variety of natural living things and the diversity of the habitats where they live not only benefits wildlife, it can also enhance local communities and our open spaces.”

Applications are welcomed from schools, youth groups, charities or community organisations. They must either own the land or have permission from the landowner for the project and the work cannot have already taken place.

The applications window is open between 1 May and 31 July 2020 and funds will be transferred during December. The elements of your project that are funded by PEBBLE should be complete by the end of the following financial year (the third year).

Project reports should be submitted two months after the project is complete. If the project is likely to extend past this time, please include a breakdown of estimated project delivery in your application.

To find out more about the PEBBLE Fund or to apply click here.

Source: South Staffs Water


Green fingers? Lend a hand!

There’s a lovely garden space at Lion Farm Action Centre where local people can sit and enjoy the upcoming spring and summer days.  But it’s in need of a little support to keep it lovely, and add those extra features to make it a real haven.

The Oldbury organisation would ideally like a team of gardening volunteers to keep the area looking good, and are happy for the team to be made up of absolute beginners, as well as people with experience.

If you have an hour or two to spare on a regular basis contact kate.lfac@yahoo.co.uk.