Wildflower meadow

Creating BCP’s Nature Recovery Network

We’ve received a £224,000 grant to help nature and wildlife

In partnership with BCP Council we’ve received a grant of £224,000 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

The Parks Foundation and BCP Council’s project ‘Nature Recovery in Urban Parks’ has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall, and combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted, contributing towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.

The project will transform some of the area’s green deserts into wildlife-rich sites and will create habitat and species resilience by linking existing biodiverse sites to a wider network. This will be achieved by working closely with residents, empowering our communities to care for their parks, reconnecting them with nature and educating them about the environment.

Cathi Farrer, The Parks Foundation Manager said,  “The Nature Recovery in Urban Parks project will enhance the ecological potential of eight parks within BCP Council’s most densely populated and deprived wards, we’ll be making physical improvements to the green spaces, delivering engagement activities to educate and inspire residents into nature, empowering communities by creating new volunteering opportunities and employing more staff within the environment sector.”

The eight parks the project will take place in are Branksome Recreation Ground, Haskells Recreation Ground, Jumpers Common, Kinson Manor Playing Fields, Muscliff Park, Pelhams Park, Slades Farm and Strouden Park. The parks have been chosen based on the Ecological Network of Dorset and the green spaces which have the highest potential for improvement to help to create a nature recovery network across our conurbation. Further information about the Ecological Network Maps produced by the Dorset LNP can be found here.

Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste, BCP Council said, “I am delighted that we’ve been awarded this grant to help transform eight of our parks and green spaces across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. These outdoor spaces have become a lifeline for so many over the last year and a half and in addition to improving theses spaces, this grant will help with engagement activities, getting more people outside and connecting with their local parks and green spaces. We are passionate about helping people lead active, healthy and independent lives and this funding builds on the foundations we’ve already set in place with our three Pilot Parks (Winton Recreation Ground, Waterman’s Park and Alexandra Park), and helps us work towards this priority.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “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.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “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.”

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “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.”

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.”

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley said: “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.”

A full list of awards is available to view here.

Further information about the project will be announced as it progresses, please get in touch via info@parksfoundation.org.uk if you’d like any further information.

Published July 2021

Green Recovery Challenge Fund logo


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