The National Lottery Heritage Fund has launched what it calls the Species Survival Fund, delivered on behalf of Defra. The stated aim is to tackle habitat loss, safeguard ecosystems and create nature-rich landscapes. The fund allocates £25 million for work restoring and connecting wildlife-rich habitats or developing the resilience of species to halt the decline in populations.
Successful applications will receive grants of, between £250,000 – £3 million for short term projects which must be completed within 2 years. The grants can be allocated to individuals and/or organisations working with landscapes and nature in England. The application window for expressions of interest runs until 24 July 2023. The top scoring projects will be invited formally to apply by 26 October 2023.
According to Defra the Species Survival Fund is designed to run alongside local nature recovery strategies to take targeted actions to restore habitats and the species that live in them. Once again, given the large scale of the projects and the very short window for expressions of interest, it is likely that it will only be the larger landowners and land owning organisations who are going to be in a position to apply and not the majority of individual farming businesses. Another reason that smaller farm businesses are less likely to access the scheme is because they are encouraging applicants to contribute at least 5% of the project costs, with priority being given to projects that can provide this private investment.
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