Heritage Lottery Fund gives 10 grants to landscape projects

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced 10 earmarked first-round passes totalling £17m made through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme.

The Landscape Partnership programme helps conserve areas of distinctive landscape character and supports schemes that provide long-term social, economic and environmental benefits for rural areas.  The landscapes receiving HLF support are:

    • The White Cliffs of Dover
    • The mid Tees Valley
    • Druridge Bay, Northumberland
    • The Belfast Hills
    • The Staffordshire Moorlands
    • Meres and Mosses, north Shropshire and south Cheshire
    • Clyde and Avon Valleys woodlands and orchards
    • Avalon Marshes Somerset
    • The Solway Plain, Cumbria

Over the past six years, HLF has spent £72m.  The 45 landscapes which have been supported, stretching from Orkney's Scapa Flow to the Isle of Wight's ‘Needles', reflect the wonders and diversity of this country's natural heritage.  Through the LP programme, key partnerships between public and community bodies are being forged enabling people to tackle the needs of their local landscapes in a co-ordinated and practical way. 

HLF chair Dame Jenny Abramsky said: "Landscapes play a huge role in our lives and are often the backdrop to daily routines - but we mustn't take them for granted.  This significant investment by the Heritage Lottery Fund is important, particularly in the International Year of Biodiversity, because it not only encourages people to work together effectively but gives them a greater sense of involvement and connection to their own local landscape."

Nicholas Crane, writer and broadcaster, said: "My work has enabled me to travel the world and see some breathtaking scenery along the way. But I remain in awe of the range of landscapes we enjoy in the UK. I'm passionate about conserving our beautiful countryside and coastlines, and am particularly delighted that HLF is funding schemes that ensure that they are properly managed and enjoyed by as many people as possible."

The White Cliffs of Dover LP - first-round pass of £1,602,200 including £57,700 development funding. The project will help protect parts of the landscape by removing scrub and maintaining grassland which in turn encourages the growth of flora and fauna. Conservation work will be undertaken on key built heritage features such as the Western Heights defensive site and remnants from World War II.

Tees Vale and Barnard Castle LP - first-round pass of £1,999,700 including £87,200 development funding. Proposals for this project focus on a 10,000ha area of the mid Tees Valley. Characterised by farmland, ancient woodlands, small villages and country parks. This five-year conservation project will involve the community through working with local partners and encouraging people to volunteer.  

Druridge Bay LP - first-round pass of £1,899,100 including £81,200 development funding
 This scheme will conserve the natural features of the landscape, particularly the dune system, which is being affected by coastal erosion.  

The Belfast Hills LP - first-round pass of £1,217,800 including £60,100 development funding
The area surrounding Belfast comprises 4,400ha of upland landscape. This scheme will help bring together a number of communities - the inhabitants of the rural Belfast Hills and those of the urban north and west Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and rural Antrim. 

Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - first-round pass of £1,609,500 including £97,000
Mourne in County Down is made up of mountains, upland heath and blanket bogs, and is home to a large number of priority species including red grouse, juniper, the keeled skimmer, sundew and butterwort.

Staffordshire Moorlands LP - first-round pass of £1,999,000 including £100,000 development funding
Churnet Valley, lying to the north east of Stoke-on-Trent, has a mixture of rural landscapes and industrial quarries, limekilns, canals and railways.  The scheme aims to improve land management and encourage better transport links.

The Meres and Mosses LP - first-round pass of £1,055,400, including £82,400 development funding
The pastoral landscape of the Meres and Mosses is made up of glacial lakes, canals, wetlands, heathlands and small hills. Shropshire Wildlife Trust and its partners plan to give residents a greater insight into the importance of conserving this area by bringing them together with landowners and environment agencies to learn more about it.

Clyde and Avon Valley LP - first-round pass of £2,000,000 including £100,000 development funding
The valleys of Clyde and Avon are in Scotland's central belt, covering 12,900ha of land.  The rivers' gorges are home to ancient woodlands and orchards. Plans include woodland management, stone conservation, traditional crafts and trades and soft fruit production. 

Avalon Marshes LP - first-round pass of £1,867,900 including £95,400 development funding
Somerset's Avalon Marshes include four national nature reserves, a special protection area for birds and 25 scheduled ancient monuments. A large part of the project will involve maintaining appropriate water levels in the area.

The Solway Wetlands LP - first-round pass of £1,981,700, including £98,500 development funding  
Covering the central portion of the Solway Coast Area of Natural Beauty (AONB), this area of north-west Cumbria is plentiful in historic, cultural and archaeological features.  It includes nationally rare habitats such as salt marsh and peat bogs and a dense network of rivers, streams and ditches which are important for migratory wildfowl and wading birds as well as threatened species such as the natterjack toad.  The scheme will restore and conserve different parts of the natural and built landscape, including 12 wetland sites and traditional Cumberland hedges.



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