Funding for a Wilder Worcestershire

Funding for a Wilder Worcestershire

Worcester by Paul Lane

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has received £249,900 from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi- million pound boost for green jobs and nature’s recovery.

The new project, Wilder Worcestershire – Nature’s Recovery For All, will work with the community and partners within six areas of Worcester to engage and inspire residents to get involved in helping nature to recover. The six areas have been chosen to help develop ways to improve nature’s recovery that are more equal, diverse and inclusive.

In addition, the Trust will undertake activities outside of the city to develop wilder towns and villages, build partnerships across the county and work on some of the Trust’s 75+ nature reserves.  The project will involve working with local community organisations, schools, housing associations, faith organisations and residents to help connect people to nature and help nature to recover.

According to 2019’s State of Nature report, one in seven UK species are at risk of extinction. Wilder Worcestershire will deliver the Green Recovery Challenge Fund’s aim to connect people with nature as well as helping people to help wildlife where they live.

Nick Packham, the Trust’s Engagement Team Leader and lead member of staff for the project, said ““We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for our Wilder Worcestershire project. 

“We can’t wait to get started and look forward to working with various organisations to create a Wilder Worcestershire.”

Through this project we aim to help improve access to nature, particularly in areas that currently lack access.  In doing so, we want to help nature’s recovery and make access to nature more equal, diverse and inclusive.
Nick Packham
Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

The funding will create three new roles and support five existing roles within the county’s largest nature conservation charity. The Trust will be advertising for the new roles in the coming weeks.

90 projects have been awarded grants from The Green Recovery Challenge Fund in order to create and retain over 2500 green jobs and to accelerate the implementation of nature-based projects, from new ‘insect pathways’ in our countryside and towns to tree-planting projects in deprived urban areas.

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.”

Green Recovery Challenge Fund logos - Defra, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Environment Agency, Natural England