National Lottery Heritage Fund boost

Community WildBelt awarded grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The Chiltern Society has been awarded a £144,989 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to launch the next stage of its Community WildBelt project. Thanks to National Lottery players, the charity can continue this unique project that connects local people and groups who are improving biodiversity and nature recovery around Wendover and its connecting towns and villages.

Building on a hugely successful development year of the nature recovery pilot, which was funded by The Rothschild Foundation and Buckinghamshire Council, this substantial boost from the Heritage Fund means the Community WildBelt can support and coordinate the expertise, passion and good-will in Chilterns communities to link up habitats, create wildlife corridors and increase wild spaces. From new hedges connecting woodland habitats, wildflower meadows in recreational parks and on roadside verges, and restored chalk streams,  the Community WildBelt will link up nature projects to ensure they are greater than the sum of their parts.

Gavin Johnson, Chiltern Society Head of Conservation said quote: ‘A joined-up, landscape scale approach to nature recovery is so important if we are to address the nature crisis and this means delivering for wildlife at all levels – the nature in our local spaces forms a fundamental part of the solution to ensure a lasting legacy for our natural heritage in the Chilterns. Thanks to the incredible support of the Heritage Fund, we can now continue to work with local people, who are delivering fantastic work on the ground, to bridge the gap between national and regional strategies and local spaces.’

Amanda Barnicoat, Community WildBelt Manager: ‘This new funding from the Heritage Fund will help people make a tangible difference to biodiversity loss, all while making their area a better place to live and work. It will help local people develop the skills and confidence so they can plan and deliver their own nature recovery projects for years to come. We know people want to help nature but do not have the capability or knowledge to do it. This is where Community WildBelt can make a difference. I’m looking forward to the next two years; helping to build a better future for our nature.’

Stuart McLeod, Director of England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:  “Talking with National Lottery players, we know that nature and the environment are incredibly important to them. That’s why we’re delighted to fund Community WildBelt to enable them to continue their fantastic project to protect and enhance the wildlife and biodiversity in the Chilterns. At the Heritage Fund, we’re incredibly proud to play a role in ensuring our natural heritage is safeguarded for generations to come and help nature’s recovery. We also like the projects we fund to give people a chance to connect with the nature and wildlife on their doorsteps. This project is a great example of fulfilling these aims.”

Keep an eye on our Community WildBelt pages for more news and activities – and find out how to get involved.

Notes to editors

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future as set out in our strategic plan, Heritage 2033.  

Over the next ten years, we aim to invest £3.6billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to bring about benefits for people, places and the natural environment.  

We help protect, transform and share the things from the past that people care about, from popular museums and historic places, our natural environment and fragile species, to the languages and cultural traditions that celebrate who we are.  

We are passionate about heritage and committed to driving innovation and collaboration to make a positive difference to people’s lives today, while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.  

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