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Sustainable Communities Fund

Due to many good applications received recently the fund is now fully allocated for this year and will reopen in April 2024 with revised criteria. Please feel free to keep in touch about project ideas and we will do our best to advise on alternative sources of funding

For helpful and friendly advice, contact our grants officer on 01590 646634 or email

Since 2006 we have awarded £2.5m in grants to over 300 projects that help improve the sustainability of the National Park. Find out more about our sustainable communities projects

What are the grants for?

Our grants are aimed at helping to protect the New Forest’s precious landscape through:

1. Improving opportunities for wildlife and habitats: 

  • Providing new habitats such as creating new ponds or wetlands
  • Introducing native planting, wildflowers and other pollinators to attract bees and butterflies
  • Enhancing existing habitats such as bird and bat nesting/roosting opportunities, bug hotels, bee bricks, hedgehog homes or movement corridor

2. Reducing carbon emissions:

  • Encouraging more walking and cycling
  • Supporting locally-produced food and goods
  • Climate-appropriate planting
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • Taking litter home
  • Clean energy

3. Connecting new groups to nature:

Supporting ideas led by and/or engaging typically under-represented groups in the National Park.

Ideas should enable new experiences in and around the National Park for audiences from different communities, ages, backgrounds, experiences, and identities.

Who can apply?

Schools, youth groups, and other organised community groups and charities that are based within the New Forest National Park.

How much is available?

We have grants of up to £10,000.

We also have micro grants of up to £150 that can help support the small actions that really do make a difference.

When is the deadline?

The fund is fully allocated for this year and will reopen in April 2024 with revised criteria.

How long does it take for a decision?

Please allow 4-6 weeks for us to process your application and liaise with the funding panel for a decision on whether we can support your project.

What projects have been funded to date?

Micro grants:

Our micro grants have helped to provide new native planting, bug hotels, hedgehog homes, nest boxes, bird feeders, pollinator trails, water recycling, and compost facilities.

We also supported a local volunteer group to survey and monitor slow worms within churchyards in the National Park.

Larger grants:

Our larger grants have supported the development of a community shop, energy improvements to community buildings, electric vehicle charge points, interpretation panels, and wild play zones.

Find out more about our sustainable communities projects.


Application form: Micro-grants up to £150

Application form: Main grants up to £10,000

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