Check out our latest magazine... Read Online

Sussex Nature Benefits Expected From Grants Totalling £53k

Emperor dragonfly (Image: © Tim Squire)

Creating new havens in Sussex for butterflies and barn owls, establishing new wetlands and helping children understand conservation are among the exciting projects to benefit from new funding totalling £52,839.

Five community-led projects across Sussex will be receiving a ReNature grant from the South Downs National Park Trust to help restore biodiversity.

It comes as the ReNature initiative enters its third year with an ambitious goal of creating 13,000 hectares of new habitat to help wildlife flourish, as well as improving existing nature havens in the National Park, which also covers parts of neighbouring Hampshire.

Among the projects will be improvements at Slindon, in West Sussex. 

Here, national park staff said, hedgerows will be restored to help bird species, such as blue tits and yellowhammer.

In Lewes work will take place to restore a chalk stream and provide more wetland habitat for species such as dragonflies and lapwings.

Jan Knowlson, Biodiversity Officer for the National Park, said:

"ReNature is about creating nature everywhere, for everyone, and involves establishing new wildlife havens and improving existing habitats such as chalk grassland, heathland and woodland.

"The biodiversity crisis is not going away – one in six species are now at risk of being lost in Great Britain and the figure from a decade ago was one in 10.

"The time for action is now and that’s why these grants are so important.

"The National Park is doing a lot of work with major landowners around establishing new habitats, but there’s also an incredible amount of work taking place in the community on smaller-scale projects.

"Often these smaller projects struggle for funding and that’s where a ReNature grant can make a huge difference."

The full list of projects in Sussex to benefit are:

  • Landport Brooks, Lewes – led by Eastbourne Council and the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust, the project will help restore a chalk stream called the Papermill Cut and create wetland features for a wide range of species, together with public access and interpretation panels. £10,000
  • Itford Farm, at Beddingham, near Lewes –  led by South Downs Youth Hostel Association (YHA), the funding will help conserve and enhance a nature site with increased access opportunities for the benefit of local schools, youth groups and the wider community. £25,000
  • Wetland restoration at Brook Farm, Midhurst – funding for project design and feasibility for wetland restoration and creating new habitats for water voles. £6,403
  • Harnessing the power of hedgerows, Slindon, West Sussex – led by Slindon Parish Council, an overgrown hedge will be rejuvenated, removing a wire fence, to create a layered hedge that will provide a wildlife refuge. £2,680
  • Lórien Rewilding at Steyning, West Sussex – planting new hedgerows, creating new wildlife ponds and reseeding to encourage greater diversity of flowers and grasses. £8,756

The ReNature initiative is being led by the National Park Authority in partnership with the South Downs National Park Trust, the official charity for the National Park.

Significant funding has been generated through donations and grants from the public and private sector, as well as National Lottery funding.

More from Community News