See below for information about our new Nature & Climate Challenge Fund and our annual Sustainable Development Fund

NEW Nature & Climate Challenge Fund 

Community groups, schools, businesses and parishes are invited to apply to the “Nature and Climate Challenge Fund”. Grants of up to £4,000 are available for projects within the coastal parishes of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an area which runs from Combe Martin along the coast to Welcombe.

The aim of the Challenge fund is to support the best proposals for communities to do their bit for wildlife, for climate or for people to deliver the following objectives:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural environment
  • Protect or improve habitats for wildlife
  • Help communities to understand and engage with nature
  • Encourage ‘reduce; re-use; recycle’ principles
  • Support the use of or generation of renewable energy
  • Encourage walking and cycling
  • Improve physical access to the coast and countryside

Example projects could include digging a pond, creating a nature area in school or playgroup grounds for growing/learning, planting hedges or trees in your local parish, adding sustainable and native plants to local parks, nature interpretation boards, bike racks and cycle routes, improved physical access, electric car charging points, solar panels etc. where they benefit the community.

The 14 eligible parish areas this grant scheme may cover are: Abotsham, Alwington, Appledore, Berrynarbor, Braunton, Clovelly, Combe Martin, Georgeham (& Croyde), Hartland, Ilfracombe, Mortehoe (& Woolacombe), Northam, Welcombe and Westward Ho!

Applications are open NOW with a deadline of Monday 26th July with projects needing to be completed by the end of February 2022. If you have any questions contact Laura Carolan on 01271 388628 or to discuss. An application form can be downloaded here. Please note the guidance and grant terms and conditions are the same as with our SDF grant scheme.

Sustainable Development Fund 

The AONB has a Sustainable Development Fund providing small grants to support local projects that help to deliver actions and objectives in the 2019-24 Management Plan. Projects must contribute to the environmental, community, economic or social benefit of the AONB and are open to community groups, parish councils, agencies, farmers and businesses.  Download our 2021-22 grants flyer or see the SDF Guidance Notes for more details.

What grants are available?  

Grants can be awarded from £100 up to £4000 for an exceptional project. If you are applying for a small grant (£500 or under) we do not expect you to provide match funding, although it is always welcome. If you are applying for larger grants (over £500), we would expect you to provide so

me match funding, some of which can be in-kind volunteer time contributions as well as cash. Business applicants will be expected to contribute cash match funding and to demonstrate a wider public benefit from the project, not just a commercial benefit.

This year (2021-22) our grant scheme is open to projects meeting any of our 2019-2024 AONB Management Plan priorities with a particular focus on Nature & Wildlife and Farming & Land Management.

Please note that any projects involving physical works to a place or building need to be located within our boundary unless providing connectivity for wildlife or people to the AONB. To see a map of the AONB visit our home page. 

Please contact Laura Carolan on 01271 388628 or if you would like to discuss a potential project. 

To apply complete an application form and email it to 

Projects supported in 2020-21

  • Westward Ho! Slipway Extension - Torridge District Council
  • Online events - Braunton Countryside Centre
  • Greater Horseshoe Bat Research North Devon
  • Plastic Ambassador Virtual Reality Kit - Plastic Free North Devon
  • Newberry Road Footpath - Croyde & Georgeham Parish Council
  • North Devon Biodiversity Projects - National Trust
  • North Devon Coastal Streams Citizen Science - Westcountry Rivers Trust 
  • Woolacombe Tourist Information - Storage for mobility equipment
  • West Country Buzz - Scrub clearance projects