Environmental charities and partners across England will benefit from the fund, which will create and retain jobs while restoring nature and tackling climate change.
On Tuesday 9th March, the Government announced that grants of up to £2 million each are now available to ‘help the nation build back greener’ from the coronavirus pandemic. The second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will award up to £40 million in grants to environmental charities and their partners across England to create and retain jobs, while restoring nature and tackling issues created by climate change.
All project must contribute to at least one of the following themes of the Green Recovery Challenge fund:
- Nature conservation and restoration
- Nature-based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation
- Connecting people with nature
Almost £40 million was awarded to 68 projects in November for the first round, which will help to restore damaged habitats such as moorlands, wetlands and forests – seeing over 800,000 trees planted. The projects will also support conservation work and help educate people about the environment and their impact on it.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow stated:
“I am delighted to launch the second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help kick-start more projects to restore nature, tackle climate change and create and retain thousands of jobs as society comes together for our planet. This is more important than ever as we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic. In the first round, we awarded grants across a broad variety of environmental projects, ranging from planting trees and restoring peatlands, to connecting people with green spaces, forests and protected landscapes. I encourage more organisations to apply so we can continue to make a real difference.”
The money will be delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Agency.
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper stated that the launch of the second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund is “another step towards improving our wonderful landscapes and habitats upon which we all depend.”
He continued on to say:
“We are beginning to see the tangible benefits this fund can deliver. It is opening the doors to careers in Nature recovery and helping to encourage a flourishing environment. Natural England has been working behind the scenes with Defra and the NLHF to prepare for today’s launch and we look forward to seeing even more inspiring projects come forward that continue this ambition.”
For grants of over £250,000, applicants must submit an expression of interest by Monday 22nd March, and, if successful, will be invited to submit a full application. The deadline for applications under £250,000 is Wednesday 14th April.
The second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund was announced as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in November 2020.
The Prime Minister also reiterated the government’s commitment to re-foresting Britain by increasing planting to 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of trees per year by 2025, and creating a new patchwork of woodlands. The government has recently consulted on a new England Tree Strategy to expand tree cover, support woodland management and increase public engagement with trees and woodlands.
The government’s flagship Environment Bill aims to put the environment at the centre of policy-making to ensure that we have a cleaner, greener and more resilient country for the next generation.
[by Abigail King]