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Severn Trent launches Boost for Biodiversity grant scheme

Thursday 30 April 2020

Severn Trent is offering groups across the Midlands a share of £200,000 to support projects that will improve biodiversity across the region.

The Boost for Biodiversity grant scheme is a chance for charities, community groups, councils, schools, landowners, estate managers and farmers to get funding that will go towards enhancing the region’s natural environment.

Zara Turtle, Severn Trent’s senior biodiversity coordinator, explains that the scheme aims to bring communities together and improve habitats in the region, as part of the company’s Great Big Nature Boost project, which has bold targets to enhance 5,000ha of land by 2027.

“The great thing about Boost for Biodiversity is that it gives applicants the creative freedom to come up with unique ideas tailored to enhance and improve habitats in their area; we’re open to any ideas no matter how ambitious,” she says.

“Enhancing biodiversity helps build resilience in our natural ecosystems, boosting the health and quantity of several areas including woods, soils, rivers and wetlands. These enhancements will improve water quality and therefore make the vital resource more sustainable.”

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Applications for the scheme are open until 12 June 2020 and will require applicants to submit a project proposal showcasing their unique ideas to improve biodiversity.

“To give applicants some inspiration, previous successful projects have included woodland restoration, bird and mammal habitat improvement, wildflower meadow planting and invasive non-native species management,” says Zara.

Applications will be scored using set criteria including, size of area improved, number of additional benefits, value for money and contribution to improved water quality.

Zara explains that the top scoring candidates will be awarded with a grant to support their project. “Normally we’d hold a Dragons’ Den style pitch to give the successful applicants a chance to increase their funding. But with the current pandemic and uncertainty around when restrictions will be lifted, we’re investigating ways to hold this element of the scheme virtually.

“However, if you’re considering a project spanning an area over 50ha, please get in touch with the Severn Trent team to find out how we can create a bespoke partnership package to support your project,” she says.

Boost for Biodiversity

  • Application deadline: 12 June 2020
  • Total fund available: £200,000
  • Applications open to: Schools, NGOs, community groups, charities, businesses, councils, farmers and landowners

Top tips for applying:

  • Download and complete the application form available here
  • Submit your form to ecologymatters@severntrent.co.uk by 12 June 2020
  • Think Big! Don’t be restrained about the size of a project – could you collaborate with other groups or neighbours?
  • Take a look at the success stories on the Severn Trent website for inspiration
  • Include a detailed report of the wider benefits to your project