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Funding Sources for Biodiversity Projects

A number of funding sources exist for biodiversity work.  This list below is given for guidance.  Details of funding sources change on a regular basis so you are recommended to check the current details of any grant scheme directly with the relevant funder.

Heritage Lottery Fund

The Local Heritage Initiative can fund between £3,000 and £25,000 to local community groups for local environmental heritage projects. Also available is Your Heritage, which can fund between £5,000 and £50,000 for environmental heritage projects. HLFs’ Public Parks Initiative could also apply to Local Nature Reserves (read Section A, question 2 on page 12 of the application booklet) and offers grants upwards of £50,000. The final scheme that may be of interest to you is Young Roots, which offers between £5,000 and £25,000 towards schemes involving young people. HLF operates from a number of regional offices, call the help line to find out your regional contact details: 020 7591 6042.

Internet: www.hlf.org.uk

Awards for All

Awards for All operates from 9 regional offices and offers funding to small groups of between £500 and £5,000 for a broad range of environmental initiatives. Use this number to find out your regional office details: 0845 600 2040

Internet: www.awardsforall.org.uk

SITA Trust Enriching Nature Programme

Enriching Nature is the name of SITA Trust's funding programme for wildlife projects. It supports projects within ten miles of landfill sites (owned by any company) in England. Not for profit organisations, charities, and Local Authorities can apply.

The Enriching Nature programme was devised in partnership with Regional Biodiversity Fora across England and will provide £13.5M funding over the next three years.

The Programme has two funding bands:

Small Fund: projects up to £25,000 - projects of this value should ideally meet national and regional priorities for species and habitats, but local priorities will also be considered.

Large Fund: projects up to £175,000 - projects of this value must meet national priorities for species and habitats.

Internet:  www.sitatrust.org.uk

County Durham Environmental Trust (CDENT)

CDENT is a registered environmental body under the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.  It funds selected eligible projects in County Durham and Darlington, and adjacent areas of Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead.

Internet:  www.cdent.co.uk/cgi-bin/?

Natural England Access to Nature Grant Scheme

Access to Nature is a £25 million grant scheme to encourage people from all backgrounds to understand, access and enjoy our natural environment. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme and Natural England. The scheme will focus on three broad themes:

  • Community awareness and active participation.
  • Education, learning and volunteering.
  • Welcoming, well-managed and wildlife-rich places.

Access to Nature will fund projects in urban, rural and coastal communities across England. The priority will be to fund projects that make a lasting change in areas of high social, economic and/or environmental deprivation.

Access to Nature aims to encourage more people to enjoy the outdoors, particularly those who face social exclusion or those that currently have little or no contact with the natural environment – perhaps because they lack the confidence to get out and enjoy natural places or have few opportunities to do so.

Internet: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/leisure/grants-funding/default.htm

Groundwork Community Spaces Grant Scheme

Community Spaces is a £50 million open grants programme funded through the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces initiative and managed by Groundwork UK on behalf of an experienced national consortium.

The programme empowers community groups to improve public spaces in their neighbourhood. It responds directly to people’s aspirations to have better places on their doorsteps – more interesting places for children to play, safer places for people of all ages to sit, greener spaces where people and nature can grow and flourish.

The Community Spaces programme aims to:

  • Create better local environments 
  • Increase people’s access to quality local spaces for interaction, play and recreation
  • Increase the number of people actively involved in developing and running a practical environmental project that is visible in their community 
  • Improve partnerships between communities, support organisations and local authorities

To successfully apply for a Community Spaces grant, applications must show that projects will improve local neighbourhoods and environments. Types of projects can include for example;

  • Community gardens and parks
  • Informal sports areas and multi-use games areas
  • Nature reserves
  • Squares and village greens
  • Churchyards 
  • Ponds and projects which improve the local community’s access to green space

Internet: http://www.community-spaces.org.uk/

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts Local Food Grants

Local Food, a new grants programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund, opened for applications from 17 March 2008.

The £50 million programme aimed at making locally grown food accessible and affordable to local communities has been developed by a consortium of organisations, and is managed on their behalf by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT).

Internet: http://www.localfoodgrants.org/index.php/home

Tubney Charitable Trust

The Tubney Charitable Trust aims to support high-quality projects that will deliver a long-term impact on the protection and enhancement of the natural environment of the United Kingdom through the achievement of UK Biodiversity Action Plan targets for practical action.

They welcome applications from UK registered, exempt and excepted charities that require funds for projects falling within that charity’s objectives.

Internet: http://www.tubney.org.uk/

The Community Foundation

The Community Foundation's Local Action on Global Issues grants programme gives annual grants in the region of £1K - £20k. for revenue and capital projects which demonstrate how local action contribute to tackling global problems.  The grants programme currently only covers Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.  

The Local Action on Global Issues Fund supports projects that are able to demonstrate one or more of the following outcomes:

  • have a positive impact on the environment
  • raise awareness of environmental issues
  • educate people about global environmental issues
  • demonstrate how local action can contribute to tackling global issues

 Internet: www.communityfoundation.org.uk

Biffaward Small Grants Scheme

Biffaward’s Main Grants Scheme invites applications between £5,001 and £50,000 for projects that increase or maintain biodiversity, and also community projects that provide and improve community facilities to act as mechanisms for recreation, sporting achievement, lifelong learning and community involvement.

The biodiversity strand aims to:

  • conserve and promote biological diversity through the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat in line with Biodiversity Action Plans or other relevant programmes
  • maintain and/or recover species in their natural habitats

There is no deadline for applications, which are considered on a rolling basis.

Please see Biffaward’s website for further information: www.biffaward.org.  Alternatively, contact the Team on 0870 036 1000 / grants@rswt.org.

Internet: http://www.biffaward.org.uk/

The British Ecological Society

The Schools Ground Development grant awards up to £1000 which supports initiatives to develop school grounds as a place to teach practical ecology. 

The BES has also created a new grant, up to £2000, to support ecologists to engage the public in ecology.  Projects can be part of a larger scheme, like National Science Week, or they can be an individual initiative.  The grant is to help scientists and others enthuse and engage the public with topical issues in ecology.  The deadlines for applications in 2007 are the 2 March and 7 September.

Internet: www.britishecologicalsociety.org/articles/grants/education/EEG/#School_Ground_Developments


BT Countryside for All

Grants of £250-£1,500 to improve access in the countryside for disabled people.

The Co-op Foundation

Grants of £200-£30,000 to community groups.

Internet: http://www.united.coop/Foundation.asp

Ethnic Minorities Award Scheme for Environmental Projects

Grants of up to £500 where there is significant involvement of ethnic minority communities.

Internet: www.ben-network.org.uk/grants/emas.html

The Garfield Weston Foundation

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a general grant giving charity making grants in many areas, including environmental projects.  There is no size limit to applications.  The Trustees consider every application on its own merits.

Internet: www.garfieldweston.org/

The Bromley Trust

The Bromley Trust makes grants to UK charities working in Human Rights, Prison Reform and Conservation and Sustainability. Includes grants that help develop responsible knowledge and use of the world's resources.

Internet: www.thebromleytrust.org.uk/

The Naturesave Trust

The Naturesave Trust is keen to support those projects with a long term benefit which deal proactively with the root of a particular problem as opposed to merely reacting to the effects. The projects considered must be from environmental and conservationist groups and organisations who seek funding for specific projects and not the general administrative costs of their respective organisations.

Internet: www.naturesave.co.uk/naturesave_trust.html

The England Rural Development Programme

Aims to help farmers and foresters to respond better to consumer requirements and become more competitive, diverse, flexible and environmentally responsible. It also provides help to rural businesses and communities, which need to adapt and develop. There are a range of schemes available.

The following are available in rural areas of the Trent Valley.

Land base schemes
i.e. schemes to conserve and improve the environment (also known as agri-environment schemes);

  • Countryside Stewardship Scheme
  • Energy Crops Scheme
  • Farm Woodland Premium Scheme
  • Organic Farming Scheme
  • Woodland Grant Scheme

Project-Based Schemes
ie schemes to enable farming, forestry and other rural businesses and communities to adapt to changing circumstances and to develop

  • Processing and Marketing Grant
  • Rural Enterprise Scheme
  • Vocational Training Scheme

For more information look at the Defra website;

Lloyds TSB Foundation

Grants of between £500 and £10,000 to charities and community groups.

Internet: http://www.lloydstsbfoundations.org.uk/


Nationwide Foundation

Up to £10,000 for enabling communities to improve their quality of life.

Internet: http://www.nationwidefoundation.org.uk/

 England Woodland Grant Scheme

The Forestry Commission's Woodland Grant Scheme offers six different grants:

Woodland Planning Grant - to prepare plans to help with managing the woodland and to meet the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme;

Woodland Assessment Grant - gathering information to improve management options;

Woodland Regeneration Grant - changing the composition of woodland through natural regeneration and restocking after felling;

Woodland Improvement Grant - to create, enhance and sustain public benefits;

Woodland Management Grant - assisting with the additional costs of providing and sustaining higher quality public benefits;

Woodland Creation Grant - to encourage creation of new woodlands where they deliver the greatest public benefit.  Farm Woodland payments are also available to compensate for agricultural income foregone; and

Woodland Harvesting Processing and Marketing - to help improve the competitiveness of forestry businesses - being piloted in South East England, Yorkshire and the Humber and North East England.

Internet: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/Forestry/INFD-5YGFUX

Landfill Tax Credit Scheme

The landfill tax credit scheme was introduced with the landfill tax in October 1996 and enables landfill site operators to donate up to 6.0 per cent of their landfill tax liability to environmental projects in return for a 90 per cent tax credit. Landfill tax credits must be spent in compliance with the landfill tax regulations. http://www.ltcs.org.uk/

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation – Environment Programme

Aims to conserve hard-to-fund or lower profile UK native species and habitats under demonstrable threat of loss or decline in urban, rural or marine areas.

Internet: http://www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk/index.html