Stanwick Lakes' £128,000 green recovery grant is otterly wonderful

The grant will support the Natureworks project

A popular Northamptonshire beauty spot and nature reserve has been awarded £128,000 to boost the fauna and flora and help improve habitats.

Rockingham Forest Trust (RFT), which runs 750-acre Stanwick Lakes, has been awarded the grant from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for their Natureworks project.

Over the next year RFT will be boosting the site’s flora and fauna - from water voles to wading birds and reedbeds to river banks - through a combination of habitat improvements, natural resilience works, and landscape enhancements.

Alyson Allfree, trust director, said: "We are absolutely delighted that our Natureworks project has been chosen for support through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

"In a year where nature has been so vital to us all it feels particularly important to be able to invest the time and money to ensure that our special habitats at Stanwick Lakes continue to be cared for and enhanced.”

RFT’s Natureworks project celebrates and supports nature, bringing it centre stage at Stanwick Lakes. There will be many opportunities for local people to get involved, helping with mammal surveys, or taking part in family-friendly activities and events.

A total of 68 projects have been awarded grants between £62,000 and £3.8m to kick-start a pipeline of nature-based projects while creating and retaining jobs

Otters

The first funding round sees a £40m pot allocated, with the second round of funding to open in early 2021

Rockingham Forest Trust is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the government’s £80m Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

The projects, spread across England, will see trees planted - 800,000 in total - and protected landscapes and damaged habitats such as moorlands, wetlands and forests restored, alongside wider conservation work. The projects will also support environmental education and connecting people with green spaces.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Ros Kerslake, chief executive at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Supporting our natural environment is one of the most valuable things we can do right now. All these projects are of huge benefit to our beautiful countryside and wildlife, but will also support jobs, health and wellbeing, which are vitally important as we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.”