Apply for a green grant to help nature and wildlifePUBLISHED ON: 20 MARCH 2023
The New Forest National Park Authority is inviting community groups and schools to apply for funding for projects that help climate and nature.
As part of the New Forest Awakening Festival 2023, which runs throughout March, the NPA is offering grants of £150 to schools, youth groups, and other organised groups and charities based within the New Forest National Park.
The grants, available from its Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF), are for projects which improve wildlife and habitats, reduce carbon emissions or connect new groups of people to nature.
Smaller grants of £150 have helped to provide new native planting, bug hotels, hedgehog homes, nest boxes, bird feeders, pollinator trails, water recycling, and compost facilities.
Since 2006 around £2.5 million in grants has funded more than 300 schemes that help protect the New Forest’s precious landscape. The NPA is looking to continue its success in supporting local projects that help tackle the climate and nature crises.
Grants are available for activities that achieve any of these aims:
- Improving opportunities for wildlife and habitats:
Providing new habitat – such as creating new ponds or wetlands; introducing native planting, wildflowers and other pollinators to attract bees and butterflies. Or enhancing existing habitat such as introducing bird and bat nesting/roosting opportunities, bug hotels, bee bricks, hedgehog homes or movement corridors.
- Reducing carbon emissions:
Encouraging more walking and cycling, supporting locally-produced food and goods, promoting ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’, disposing of litter responsibly, supporting clean energy.
- Connecting new groups to nature:
Supporting ideas led by and/or engaging typically under-represented groups in the New Forest National Park. Enabling new experiences in and around the National Park for audiences from different communities, ages, backgrounds, experiences, and identities.
John Sanger, New Forest National Park Authority Member and Chair of its Sustainable Communities Fund, said: ‘We have committed to ensure the National Park is net zero by 2050. That means we need a huge community effort to work with nature to reduce our carbon footprint.
‘The Sustainable Communities Fund is one way we at the National Park Authority can help support our schools, villages and communities to adapt to reduce emissions and make the National Park more resilient in the face of the effects of climate change. A large number of small, individual actions can really make a difference.
‘Ensuring this precious landscape survives for future generations requires a team effort. We are aware there are lots of individuals and groups who are taking action for climate and nature, and we’d like to thank our communities who respect and care for the New Forest.’
The NPA is keen to hear ideas and projects that have been developed by young people, although applications must be submitted by an adult.
Applications must be received by Friday 28 April. Applications will be approved by the end of May so grants will be available from June onwards and should be spent by 31 March 2024.
Find out more about SCF projects and how to apply for grants at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/scf.