£15.6million to help people get out into nature

Supported by the National Lottery, the Heritage Fund awarded the funds for nature recovery projects and to increase the connectivity of spaces for people and wildlife in rural, suburban and urban areas.

Xavier Mahele and Kate Bradbury from Froglife, which is receiving support for the London Blue Chain project.
Froglife credit: Heritage Fund

The Heritage Fund is the largest funder of UK heritage and invest money raised by National Lottery players across the UK, in collaboration with a wide range of statutory bodies, as well as other National Lottery distributors.

Stretching from St Andrews to Brighton and Belfast to London, these projects build on the 215 walking trails already supported by Heritage Fund across the UK. “Preserving natural heritage is core to what we do, and we look forward to seeing these projects enhance access to nature and walking for a diverse range of people”, said Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive at The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The projects awarded funding include:

  • National Trust’s Divis and the Black Mountain project (£3m) will create new walking trails connecting people in north and west Belfast to the hills that are an iconic part of the city’s skyline.
  • Froglife (£573,078) will create a new London Blue Chain walking route alongside the historic 52-mile London Green Chain. It will also create, restore and connect freshwater habitats which support amphibian and reptile populations.
  • Peak District Mosaic’s Championing National Parks for Everyone (£557,955) will continue to raise awareness of and improve accessibility to the Peak District, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, particularly among diverse ethnic communities.
  • A Garden Fit For a King (£4.3m) will restore the historic Royal Pavilion Estate in Brighton and Hove, including its unique garden which dates from the Regency period.
  • In Scotland, St Andrews Heritage Museum and Garden (£630,688) will be redeveloped with accessibility, sustainability, community outreach and visitor experience in mind.
  • Life on the Edge (£2.2m) led by South Devon National Landscape is helping to project some of the UK’s most vulnerable invertebrate species inhabiting the cliffs across the coast of South Devon.
  • Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust’s Unlocking Highgate Cemetery project (awarded £105,000 in development funding towards a potential delivery grant of £6.7m) will develop plans to promote biodiversity and improve access.
  • The Clywedog Valley Heritage Partnership led by Groundwork North Wales (awarded £246,530 in development funding towards a potential delivery grant of £1.2m) will reopen heritage sites and run a diverse programme of events along the valley.
  • The City of Wolverhampton Council (awarded £217,000 in development funding towards a potential delivery grant of £2.1m) will develop plans to promote the heritage of Smestow Valley Local Reserve, a 4.5km long UNESCO Global Geopark.