Innovative grant scheme for New Forest projects

Published Friday 30 December 2005

National Park Authority launches Sustainable Development Fund.

An innovative fund to help individuals, community groups and businesses in the New Forest National Park is launched today (30 Nov) by the National Park Authority. An information leaflet is now available from Visitor Information Centres, libraries and other public venues and details are on the New Forest National Park's website at

Applications are now invited for grants from the Sustainable Development Fund to develop and test new ways of achieving a more sustainable way of living in and enjoying the New Forest National Park. Money will be granted from April 2006 to support a wide range of projects that could include green transport schemes, wildlife protection, alternative energy schemes, recreation and education projects, as well as training in traditional countryside skills and the development of low cost ecological housing or building, to name just a few examples.

National Park Authority Chief Executive, Lindsay Cornish, says: "The scheme aims to foster the principles of sustainability and has proved a great success in other national parks. Now people living in and around the New Forest can reap the benefit too.

With an annual fund of £200,000, we will be offering grants from a few hundred pounds up to £50,000 to projects which benefit the environment, our communities and the local economy. I urge local people with inspirational ideas to demonstrate sustainable ways of living and working across the New Forest to get their applications in. Elsewhere recipients have been tremendously resourceful in using a relatively small grant to attract other funds and make some tangible changes on the ground. Successful projects range from England's first eco youth hostel to the promotion of wood fuels; from outdoor leisure skill training for young people from isolated communities to providing waterproof clothing for children with learning and physical disabilities on ranger led walks."

Says Barry Rickman, local businessman and member of the Authority: "We are looking for some innovative local projects that will make a real difference to the New Forest National Park and the people who live in the area. We are also looking for projects which involve young people and people who have had little access to public funding. An independent panel of people who live and work across the New Forest will assess projects, using their own expertise and local knowledge."

For more information and to apply for a New Forest National Park Sustainable Development Fund grant, contact the Sustainable Development Officer at the National Park Authority by email at:, by telephone on 0845 345 4979 or visit the Authority's website at

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