A £10,000 Boost For Nature

A £10,000 Boost for Nature

Over the last year the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty team has awarded grants to help boost the nature in the local area. Over £10,000 has been awarded to nature projects, as part of the Sustainable Development Fund, to organisations, charities, and individuals throughout North Devon and Torridge. Projects have included research on greater horseshoe bats, pond restoration, monitoring the quality of coastal streams, improving habitats for rare bees and the planting of wildflowers, orchards, and trees.

Dr Eirene Williams, Chair of the SDF Panel, said “Our aim with part of the SDF fund allocated to biodiversity is to make a modest contribution within the AONB to the Nature Recovery initiatives.  We encourage a wide range of applications, small and larger up to £4000, from people and organisations with ideas for making our local habitats “bigger, better and more joined up”.  We trust that the projects funded have lasting and sustainable benefits for our local wildlife in the face of climate change, but please go ahead and surprise us with innovative ideas next year.”

Cathy Horsley, from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust said, “Thanks to the generous support of the SDF grant, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s West Country Buzz project has been able to help restore species-rich grassland at Hartland Quay by clearing some dense scrub, and to reinstate a traditional orchard at a farm in Hartland. This will support a rich variety of pollinating insects including rare and declining bumblebees.”

In addition to nature themed projects grants were also awarded to those aiming to improve access with contributions to the new slipway at Westward Ho!, a new footpath between Georgeham and Croyde and a new storage shed for beach wheelchairs in Woolacombe. Other supported projects included the creation of new virtual reality films by Plastic Free North Devon and a public talks programme and website improvements for the Braunton Countryside Centre.

For more information about the Sustainable Development Fund visit the AONB website. (Grants | North Devon Coast (northdevon-aonb.org.uk) or contact Laura Carolan on laura.carolan@devon.gov.uk or Tel. 01271 388628.

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