Severn Trent launches boost for biodiversity grant scheme
Tuesday 23rd March 2021
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 Frankton, 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 commitment, 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 this vital resource more sustainable."
The creation of tree sparrow ‘villages’ in Warwickshire is one of many projects that have benefitted from this grant. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust was awarded £17,000 back in August 2019 to create over 100 tree sparrow boxes across 11 farms that form part of the ‘Arden Farm Wildlife Network’.
The Trust used the money to work with farmers to sow wildflower seed mixes, attracting insects and in-turn, tree sparrows to settle on the farmland. The funds also helped to provide enough food for the tree sparrows over the cold winter months when many struggle to find any.
This two-year project, which has recently come to an end, featured in a new podcast - Get Birding, hosted by 18-year-old ornithologist and conservationist Dr Mya-Rose Craig.
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Applications for the scheme are open until Friday 23rd April and will require applicants to submit a project proposal showcasing their unique ideas to improve biodiversity.
Applications will be scored using set criteria including, size of area improved, number of additional benefits and value for money.
Boost for Biodiversity
• Application deadline: Friday 23rd April 2021
• Total fund available: £200,000
• Applications open to: Schools, NGOs, community groups, charities, businesses, councils and landowners
Top tips for applying:
• Download and complete the online application form - where you can find guidance on eligibility and scoring criteria
• 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