County’s chalk streams get £210,000 for habitat work

Landfill tax payments worth more than £210,000 are being channeled into habitat restoration work on Lincolnshire’s chalk streams this month.

Flora and fauna relying on Lincolnshire’s rare chalk streams will  benefit from habitat restoration work worth more than £210,000 this month.

A grant from WREN, a not for profit business that awards grants generated by landfill tax through sites owned by FCC Environment, will enable the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project to deliver sustainable habitat improvements to local chalk streams by methods such as restoring trout spawning habitat and introducing woody material to provide a more diverse in-stream habitat and to help lengthen the channel, with a focus on the Lincolnshire Wolds. The £213,946 grant will also help the LCSP to raise awareness of chalk streams and their importance as an internationally rare habitat unique to the south and eastern parts of England and Normandy in France.

Ruth Craig from the LCSP says: “Over the next three years, the WREN funding will go towards restoring 9.8km of rare chalk stream habitat and re-creating habitats for species, such as water vole and brown trout. We also hope to start up a Chalk Stream Conservation group which will enable volunteers to get out into the countryside helping landowners, farmers and communities to maintain restored chalk stream habitat.”

The grant has also been match funded by one of the LCSP partners Anglian Water Services and is fully supported by all the partners, Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service (host), Lincolnshire County Council, Environment Agency, Natural England, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the Wild Trout Trust.

LCSP is one of 12 recipients of WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund to receive a share of the fund this year, totalling more than £2.7 million. Other organisations to benefit include the Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Buglife.

The national fund, which is now in its sixth year, has helped support 73 projects at a total cost of £15,829,398 since 2009. More than 500 sites have benefitted from the funding including 130 sites of Special Scientific Interest and 14,000 hectares of priority habitats such as chalk streams, grassland and coastal reed beds.

Kristian Dales, sales and marketing director at FCC Environment, said the number and quality of projects applying for the biodiversity fund increases every year. “FCC Environment and WREN are together committed to supporting projects which protect, maintain and expand some of the country’s most unique ecosystems. We’re looking forward to seeing the projects take shape with help from the WREN funding, and seeing the positive impact they’ll have, helping to conserve natural spaces and species for generations to come. These projects will also help the UK meet government targets to improve and increase biodiversity.” Picture: Wildlifetrusts.org.uk