Urban Green Newcastle and Northumberland Wildlife Trust receive grant of £697,800 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Urban Green Newcastle and Northumberland Wildlife Trust receive grant of £697,800 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Beelines North East will create a network of 45 nectar-rich public sites, aiming to plant 2,500 trees, 25,000 bulbs and creating 18 hectares of grassland. Nationally 90 projects have been awarded grants to accelerate the implementation of nature-based projects, from new ‘insect pathways’ in our countryside and towns, to tree planting projects in deprived urban areas.
Buff Tailed Bumblebee - Duncan Hutt

Buff Tailed Bumblebee. Image by: Duncan Hutt.

Urban Green Newcastle and Northumberland Wildlife Trust have been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery.

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall, and combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted, contributing towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.

To protect our precious pollinators, Urban Green Newcastle and Northumberland Wildlife Trust are working in partnership to deliver the Beelines North East project which will create a network of 45 nectar-rich public sites, aiming to plant 2,500 trees, 25,000 bulbs and creating 18 hectares of grassland. The work will target young people, with traineeships available including for young offenders, alongside volunteering, and schools work opportunities.

Barbara Hooper, Director of Parks and Allotments for Urban Green Newcastle, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded the funding for Beelines North East and to be working with Northumberland Wildlife Trust to deliver this important project. We already know how important our urban green spaces are for people; we now have the chance to make sure that they remain important for wildlife too.

"In recent years habitat loss has been a major contributing factor to the decline in the numbers of pollinators like bees and butterflies. Our parks provide real opportunities to encourage and support these vital pollinators, and enable them to thrive in our region.”

Elaine More, Living Landscapes Project Manager for Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: "Connectivity of habitat across urban areas is of vital importance for pollinators so they can move around, forage, and reproduce. We aim to work with local communities, especially young people, to create a strong network or ecologically diverse sites on people’s doorsteps where pollinators can thrive, creating a legacy once funding comes to an end."

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “From wetland restoration, to creating wildlife-rich habitat for bees, it is vital that we value, protect and rebuild our natural heritage. This new funding will not only allow projects to carry out direct conservation which is essential in protecting our biodiversity, but it will increase awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect our future.”

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “By supporting jobs from Northumberland to Somerset, the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will help deliver a nature positive future. The fund supports young people to develop skills needed to protect nature, build back greener and prepare for climate impacts, like floods and heatwaves.”

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: “Our environmental and conservation charity sector does an incredible job in protecting, improving and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of communities and the economy.”

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley said: “This funding will help deliver thousands more trees and help us achieve our target of trebling tree planting rates in England by the end of the Parliament. We need to work towards net zero emissions by 2050; to address biodiversity loss; to better connect people with nature; and to create more green jobs in doing so. Trees are central to this and the projects being awarded these grants will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these objectives.”

A full list of awards is available to view at: www.heritagefund.org.uk/publications/green-recovery-challenge-fund-seco…