The two schemes, the UK-
wide Saving our Magnificent Meadows and The Great Heath Living Landscape in south west England, will bring together a variety of organisations to protect and nurture vulnerable habitats and species and are part of a wider package of £16m of HLF support, also announced today.
HLF chief executive Carole Souter said: "The Heritage Lottery Fund is one of the most important funders of biodiversity across the entire UK having invested in over 3,000 similar projects over the years.
"We’ve been able to help environmental charities look after some of our most vulnerable habitats, from acid grasslands and lowland meadows, to heathland and ancient woodland.
"This good news comes at a time when the recent State of Nature report illustrated just what a perilous state our natural heritage is in.
"These two new projects show how HLF can play a vital part in supporting biodiversity and may also act as an inspiration to others looking to develop projects to help people take care of, learn about and explore our precious natural heritage."
HLF money will help Plantlife International deliver a three-year project of conservation work to safeguard nine meadow and grassland sites right across the UK including in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland as well as in the South East, South West and North East England.
The Great Heath Living Landscape area stretches from Poole Harbour to The New Forest encompassing Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch and East Dorset.
It is made up of an extremely diverse range of habitats including: lowland heathland; fens; acid grassland; coastal and floodplain grazing marsh; and ancient semi-natural woodland.
Dorset Wildlife Trust is leading the initiative which will provide a unique opportunity to secure and enhance this Natural England ‘Focus Area’.
Among other awards announced, HLF has pledged initial support plus development funding to the Capability Brown Birthday and Festival amounting to initial support of £905,200, including a development grant of £139,200.