Funding given to worthy wildlife schemes

Celebrity naturalist Chris Packham has launched a £10m fund created to protect some of the UK's most threatened wildlife habitats.

The fund will be run by not-for-profit business Waste Recycling Environmental Limited, better known as WREN, and will become its new Biodiversity Action Fund (BAF).

WREN is a not for profit business that awards grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK from funds donated by Waste Recycling Group (WRG) as part of a voluntary environmental tax credit scheme called the Landfill Communities Fund.

To be eligible for the funding, projects had to demonstrate how they would work towards meeting national, regional or local biodiversity targets set out in Biodiversity Action Plans, and had to be located within 10 miles of a landfill site.

Awards were made between £113,000 and £250,000, with two projects receiving the maximum £250,000 – Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the RSPB in Eastern England.

The nine projects to receive WREN funding are;

Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park, a project along 5k of coastal stretch between Sandilands and Chapel St Leonards led by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Upton Broad and Marshes nature reserve, nr Martham, Norfolk.

The RSPB in the Midlands region will be creating wet grassland at Beckingham Marshes, along the River Trent.

The creation of a new living landscape in the Upper Tawe Valley in Wales by Brecknock Wildlife Trust.

The RSPB in Eastern England will be realigning the flood defences at Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve on the North Norfolk Coastline.

The RSPB in northern England will be restoring nationally important upland habitats at their Geltsdale reserve in Cumbria.

Restoration of Norfolk Brecks heathland for threatened butterflies and moths near Thetford, Norfolk by Butterfly Conservation.

Restoring, recreating and reconnecting coastal and floodplain grazing marsh in the River Gowy and River Mersey corridors in Cheshire by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

A project to improve existing chalk grasslands and restore new areas of this precious habitat at 13 of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves in the Chilterns.

Mr Packham, who took over from Bill Oddie on the BBC’s Springwatch sofa this year, said: “This is a fabulous scheme which puts substantial and much-needed sums of real money into real conservation and targets it at intelligent projects which seek to protect and enhance the UK’s natural biodiversity – superb.”

Luke Walsh

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