- From urban walking routes and dramatic landscapes to Regency period gardens, helping people to get outside to explore and enjoy nature is the focus of £15.6m funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
- The newly funded projects will revive landscapes, support nature recovery, and enhance connectivity for people and wildlife across rural, suburban and urban areas.
- With January being the perfect time to enjoy free activities and embrace the great outdoors, the latest round of funding from Heritage Fund makes it easier for people to experience the benefits of nature at heritage sites across the UK
- The chosen projects join over 215 walking trails already funded by the Heritage Fund across the length and breadth of the UK, from Ben Nevis to Cornwall.
Today, Tuesday 16 January, The National Lottery Heritage Fund announces £15.6m in funding to make it easier for people to access nature across the UK, so that everyone can experience the benefits of getting outside and connecting with nature.
The transformative projects join well over 215 walking routes already funded by the Heritage Fund across the length and breadth of the UK.
Stretching from Brighton and St Andrews, to Belfast and London, the newly funded projects will ensure that walking trails, green spaces and other public areas are accessible to a wide range of people. With January being the perfect time to embrace the great outdoors, these projects promise to bring people closer to nature and celebrate the rich tapestry of our natural heritage.
The new London Blue Chain, will be created by Froglife, along the historic 52-mile London Green Chain walking route, with the help of £573,078 from the Heritage Fund to create, restore, and connect freshwater habitats to support the sustained growth of amphibian and reptile populations. The project aims to breathe fresh life into southeast London by connecting local communities with their natural heritage.
With Championing National Parks for Everyone (£557,955), Peak District Mosaic aim to continue to raise awareness of and improve accessibility to the Peak District, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, particularly among ethnically and culturally diverse communities, while National Trust’s Divis A View to the Future project (£2,997,000) will create further opportunities for communities to engage with heritage, nature and place through habitat restoration and development of new walking trails, connecting the people of Belfast to the hills that frame the City’s skyline.
Funding will also be allocated to greenspaces and other public areas, emphasising that you don’t need to go to the countryside to enjoy a refreshing walk. ‘A Garden Fit For a King’ (£4,369,755) aims to restore the historic Royal Pavilion Estate in Brighton and Hove, including the unique Regency period Garden, while St Andrews Heritage Museum and Garden (£630,688) will be redeveloped improving accessibility, sustainability, community outreach and encourage visitors to explore the wider St Andrews Conservation area. With ‘Unlocking Highgate Cemetery’ (£105,000 development funding), the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust plans to promote biodiversity and improve accessibility to preserve the working cemetery as a sanctuary to walk, reflect and connect with nature for generations to come.
Since 1994, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded £2 billion to 4,700 land, nature and biodiversity projects across the UK. These initiatives have been made possible through the generous support of the National Lottery players, whose contributions continue to make a profound impact on the conservation and celebration of the UK’s unique landscapes and biodiversity.
As part of Heritage 2033, Heritage Fund’s 10-year strategy, the organisation will be introducing new strategic funding streams including a landscape and nature focused initiative to be announced later in the year which is set to support large-scale projects that preserves natural heritage and enhance connectivity for people and wildlife.
Full project details:
- London Blue Chain, London (Grant – £573,078)
The new London Blue Chain, a beautiful chain of 100 ponds created by Froglife, which will run along the historic 52-mile London Green Chain walking route, linking a range of diverse greenspaces from Bexley and Greenwich, all the way through to Lewisham, Bromley, Southwark and Lambeth. The Blue Chain aims to create, restore, and connect freshwater habitats to support the sustained growth of amphibian and reptile populations, as well as creating neighbourhood wildlife corridors in community spaces including housing estates, schools and allotments. What’s more, the project aims to breathe fresh life into southeast London through lots of volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and festivals.
- Championing National Parks for Everyone, across the Peak District, North York Moors, and Yorkshire Dales (Grant – £557,955)
With Championing National Parks for Everyone, Peak District Mosaic aim to continue to raise awareness of and improve accessibility to the Peak District, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, among ethnically and culturally diverse communities. The project plans to provide training opportunities through the Community Champion programme, which will support diverse communities to visit the National Parks independently as well as enter the environmental sector.
- Divis and the Black Mountain, Northern Ireland (Grant – £2,997,000)
The Divis A View to the Future project, led by the National Trust, plans to restore nature and improve access for the communities at the foot of Divis and the Black Mountain. The area boasts a stunning natural habitat, linking to the heritage and culture of the city of Belfast which surrounds it. The project aims to restore, improve and enhance the natural landscape whilst increasing opportunities for community engagement with heritage and nature.
- Royal Pavilion Estate, Brighton (Grant – £4,369,755)
The ‘A Garden Fit for A King’ project aims to restore and reconnect the historic Royal Pavilion Estate in Brighton & Hove, particularly focusing on the Grade II listed Royal Pavilion and its unique Regency period garden. The restoration project seeks to remove the garden from the ‘At Risk’ Register, preserve its heritage and biodiversity, and engage both locals and tourists in appreciating its significance and beauty.
- St Andrews Heritage Museum & Garden, St Andrews (Grant – £630,688)
St Andrews Heritage Museum and Garden, located in the heart of the St Andrews Conservation area, will be redeveloped across four key strands: Accessibility, Sustainability, Community Outreach, and Visitor Experience. As part of this redevelopment, the garden spaces are set to showcase native plants, and grow produce for use in the local community café.
- Life on the Edge, South Devon (Grant – £2,246,965)
The Life on the Edge project strives to bring communities together to help protect some of the UK’s most vulnerable invertebrate species inhabiting the flower-rich grasslands and cliffs across the coast of South Devon. The project aims to reconnect wild coastal landscapes and provide the tools for communities to take action in their greenspaces, farmland, churchyards, school grounds, highway verges and private gardens to provide more valuable and much needed habitat for these rare insects and other wildlife.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I am thrilled we are announcing support for such a fantastic group of heritage projects that will not only protect our environment but also allow more people to experience the benefits of nature across the UK. Preserving natural heritage is core to what we do, and thanks to National
Lottery players, we look forward to seeing people across the UK enjoying the incredible variety that nature has to offer, and ensure that these outstanding natural sites are valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future”.
Kathy Wormald, CEO, Froglife, said: “The new London Blue Chain is right at the heart of Froglife’s work: it will both create a fantastic chain of ponds for reptiles and amphibians along the London Green Chain, whilst at the same time working closely with local communities. This will make a massive difference for wildlife and, through a novel range of activities, support new skills, knowledge and mental and physical health. Thank you so much to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and lottery players for funding this valuable work”.
Further Heritage Fund support has been awarded to a number of organisations in order to develop their plans to preserve and improve access to natural heritage across the UK:
- Following the success of the first phase of its restoration, Wardown Park now sets its sights on restoring the lake. The project aims to re-establish it as a community hub and improve biodiversity (Grant – £274,600 towards a delivery grant of £2.5m).
- The Clywedog Valley Partnership led by Groundwork North Wales aims to transform the valley into a vibrant cultural attraction, by reopening heritage sites along the valley, and offering visitors and the local community the a diverse programme of events and activities. (Grant – £246,530 towards a delivery grant of £1.2m).
- City of Wolverhampton Council aims to promote the heritage of Smestow Valley Local Reserve, a 4.5km long UNESCO Global Geopark nestled in the heart of Wolverhampton (Grant – 217,000 towards a delivery grant of £2,098,543).
- Enfield Council in collaboration with local stakeholders are set to establish Broomfield as a flagship park for North London, emphasizing its rich heritage, opportunities for communities to participate in its upkeep and activation and as a place to inspire sustainable living. (Grant – £532,490 towards a delivery grant of £3.7m).
- The Roding Rises project will connect local communities, from farmers in rural Essex to residents in Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Newham, with the River Roding, inspiring them to take positive action to restore this neglected river. (Grant £167,811 towards a delivery grant of £1.5m).
- The Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust plans to conserve the heritage, promote biodiversity, and to improve accessibility and inclusivity at this Grade I registered site in North London. Continuing as a working cemetery, it will remain as a sanctuary in which to connect with nature and reflect on life for generations to come. (Grant £105,703 towards a delivery grant of £6.7m).