Lapwings, water voles and adders are among the thousands of species which could benefit from a major new government fund launched to boost the creation and restoration of natural habitats at scale – backed up by new fully-funded local nature recovery strategies.
The newly launched £25 million Species Survival Fund will help drive the action we need to halt the decline in species – the key government target. The new funding will support projects with grants of up to £3 million to tackle habitat loss, safeguard our fragile ecosystems and create nature-rich landscapes full of wildlife-friendly habitats such as grasslands, woodlands and wetlands.
This work could include restoring and connecting wildlife-rich habitats across a landscape, or developing the resilience of particular species such as reptiles, birds and pollinators. The scheme will also encourage green jobs and provide vocational employment opportunities.
Environmental not-for-profit organisations, National Park Authorities and AONBs, local authorities, farmers and land managers are all invited to apply for the funding and help the government create transformational nature projects.
Lapwing, copyright Glyn Sellors, from the surfbirds galleries
To further drive nature recovery, 48 individual local authorities are also set to benefit as they receive their allocations from a £14 million funding pot enabling them to work with their local communities to develop a tailored nature recovery strategy for their area. With the best ways to support nature recovery depending on local geography, Local Nature Recovery Strategies will help communities map out the action needed in their area to restore nature, working closely with local stakeholders, from farmers to school children. When put together they will be a key way of meeting our England-wide nature targets.
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said: We depend on nature for everything and now nature really needs our help. Through the Species Survival Fund, we will fund taking targeted actions needed to restore our habitats and the species that live in them. Across the country, local nature recovery strategies will enhance wildlife habitats that reflect the wonderful tapestry of nature that exists on our isles.
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: If we are to succeed with our national Nature recovery ambitions then our efforts will need to be locally-led and based on collaboration. These will be vital elements in creating the more extensive, better quality and connected nature-rich habitats necessary for wildlife to recover and thrive. These local initiatives will support England’s growing national Nature Recovery Network that we need to protect food and water security, capture carbon, adapt to climate change and enhance people’s wellbeing. Natural England is proud to be supporting local authorities and their partners to develop Local Nature Recovery Strategies that meet the needs of communities and the landscapes in which they live.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: We are delighted to work with Defra once again to administer this vital and valuable fund, which will support nature recovery by helping to boost the quality and quantity of wildlife-rich habitats across England. Building on our successful partnership to deliver the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, this project will further our vision for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone’s future.
Six months on from helping secure the Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15, the Government is committed to delivering on the COP15 goals at home and the commitments set out in our Environmental Improvement Plan. The announcement today follows new funding unveiled yesterday for lowland peat restoration, new landscape recovery project funding announced for farmers last month, and action to protect our seas through recently declared Highly Protected Marine Areas.