£40m in funding for boosting green jobs and nature recovery in the UK

Projects have received a total of £40m in grants to facilitate 2,500 green jobs, plant nearly one million trees and boost the UK’s nature recovery.

This week, the UK government has announced an action to support green jobs, the planting of trees and the general boost to nature recovery across the country. These efforts are being stepped up with 90 novel projects through the government’s £80m Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

These projects will be awarded a total of £40m, extending over 600 sites across the country; the projects vary from ‘insect pathways’ in towns and the countryside to furthering the government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates in England by planting trees in deprived urban areas.

The grant winning projects

Bringing the Buzz Back to the City – this project will aim to protect pollinators by developing a network of nectar-rich public sites, planting 2,500 trees, 25,000 bulbs and cultivating 18 hectares of grassland.

Trees for Cities – this grant winner plans to increase tree cover in deprived urban areas. The project will plant 55,000 trees across 83 coastal locations in 7 different coastal towns. It will also expand skills and training opportunities for young people aged 16-24 years.

Avalon Marshes Wetland Wonderland – this project aims to enhance wetland habitats, water quality and hydrological connectivity on our nature reserves, which will promote a wide variety of wildlife such as waders, wildfowl, eels, and rare insects alongside wetland specialist plants. It will also start to restore a 10.6-acre site once used for peat extraction.

More from Trees – this grant winning programme intends to enhance biodiversity by developing innovative green corridors in Liverpool city centre, create a specialist tree nursery for native species, expand habitats for a variety of species, and deploy natural flood management in two catchments in Cheshire. It will also develop a new green taskforce of retrained military veterans and provide an array of nature-based activities to enhance the health and well-being of local people.

Chester Zoo Nature Recovery Corridor – this project will develop a 6.5-mile nature recovery corridor, encompassing the rebuilding of wetlands, traditional orchards, hedgerows, grasslands and wildflower meadows in community wildlife sites. The programme will also address demographic inequalities in people’s access to nature by targeting 12,000 people from deprived areas and offering prospects for youth trainees and community volunteer schemes.

Protecting the planet and supporting green jobs

Rebecca Pow, the Environment Minister, commented: “The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, explained: “From wetland restoration to creating wildlife-rich habitat for bees, it is vital that we value, protect and rebuild our natural heritage. This new funding will not only allow projects to carry out direct conservation, which is essential in protecting our biodiversity, but it will increase awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect our future.”

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: “Our environmental and conservation charity sector does an incredible job in protecting, improving and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of communities and the economy.

“Having begun my environmental career back in 1984 working on a government-funded project comparable to those being announced today, I know from experience how this fund will be able to help a new generation of passionate young environmentalists take the first few steps in their careers. I can think of fewer more important investments in our future than that.”

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, added: “By supporting jobs from Northumberland to Somerset, the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will help deliver a nature positive future. The fund supports young people to develop skills needed to protect nature, build back greener and prepare for climate impacts, like floods and heatwaves.”

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley concluded: “This funding will help deliver thousands more trees and help us achieve our target of trebling tree planting rates in England by the end of the Parliament. We need to work towards net zero emissions by 2050; to address biodiversity loss; to better connect people with nature, and to create more green jobs in doing so. Trees are central to this, and the projects being awarded these grants will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these objectives.”

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