Suffolk Wildlife Trust receives grant of £250,000 from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund 

Black Bourn Valley Nature Reserve, Steve Aylward

We are thrilled to have been awarded a grant from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund for our West Suffolk nature Triangle project.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.  

Defra announced grants between £62,000 and £3.8 million on Thursday 10th December, to help create and retain thousands of green jobs. 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. 

Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s West Suffolk Nature Triangle focuses on three nature reserves – Knettishall Heath, Lackford Lakes and Black Bourn Valley. The project will enrich these special places to make them even better for wildlife at the same time as enhancing visitors’ experience and fostering a deeper connection with nature. 

Christine Luxton, Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s CEO, said, “We’re thrilled to have been awarded this grant which will mean so much to both wildlife and people in West Suffolk. It means we can create new green jobs at Knettishall Heath to ensure the special habitats here are managed to maximise their value to wildlife and to ensure we can spend quality time with our visitors enabling them to connect to nature.  

“We’ll be able to install perimeter fencing around our Black Bourn Valley reserve to enable the introduction of cattle to help re-wild former arable fields so that threatened species such as turtledoves and nightingale can thrive once more.  

“And we’ll also be able to create new viewpoints at Lackford Lakes to enable more people to get closer to nature.” 

Norfolk Rivers Trust also received a Green Recovery Challenge Fund Grant for Waterlife Recovery East’s project to help restore water vole populations in East Anglia. Suffolk Wildlife Trust is working in partnership with Norfolk Rivers Trust and Countryside Restoration Trust to help secure the future of our water voles. Over 95% of the population has been lost over recent decades so it is vital that the remaining population is protected and given the opportunity to recover. 

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.  

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said “These projects will drive forward work across England to restore and transform our landscapes, boost nature and create green jobs, and will be a vital part of helping us to build back greener from coronavirus. 

“I look forward to working with environmental organisations as these projects help address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, while creating and retaining jobs as part of the green recovery.” 

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, 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.”