Friday, July 1, 2022

Disadvantaged communities empowered to let nature flourish thanks to £5m National Lottery funding

Nextdoor Nature – a new natural legacy to mark the Queen’s Jubilee – will help nature flourish in Lincolnshire.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund recently announced a £5million investment in a ground-breaking initiative to create a huge matrix of community-led rewilding projects – improving the lives of people from some of the most disadvantaged areas across the UK and leaving a lasting natural legacy in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The funding is part of The National Lottery’s £22million investment to mark the Jubilee and Lincolnshire will benefit.

Boston, Cleethorpes, Gainsborough, Grimsby, Mablethorpe, Skegness and South Holland have all been identified as focus areas.

Delivered by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Nextdoor Nature will give communities in these areas the skills, tools, and opportunity to take action for nature. This could include establishing wild habitats and green corridors in areas of economic and nature deprivation, rewilding school grounds, or naturalising highly urbanised or unused areas. The pandemic has demonstrated just how important access to a well-cared for natural environment is to communities across the UK.

“Nextdoor Nature will let communities set their own agenda about the environmental issues they want to tackle” says Paul Learoyd Chief Executive, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and research shows 85% of people in nature-deprived areas say more natural spaces would improve their quality of life. The majority also say that having access to local natural spaces is more important post-pandemic. Nextdoor Nature will enable people to make this happen and in doing so, take steps to tackle the nature and climate crisis whilst also addressing important health and wellbeing needs.

Simon Thurley, Chair of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says: “As part of The National Lottery family’s £22m investment to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we are delighted to launch Nextdoor Nature, a transformational initiative which will give access to the natural environment to thousands of people who may not have fully enjoyed or appreciated it before. We hope that many people will, for the first time, get hands on with nature creating a new generation of champions for our precious natural environment.”

Liz Bonnin, President of The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“We humans are key to solving the climate crisis and restoring our natural heritage. The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world, but Nextdoor Nature is working to set that right, putting local communities at the heart of helping our wild places to recover, and making sure that no matter where we live, we can be part of this crucial endeavour.

“The Wildlife Trusts are firmly rooted in communities and can provide support and advice to those willing to lead the charge in bringing wildlife back to homes and workplaces – in turn inspiring those around them to do the same. we can achieve incredible things when we work together!”

Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, says:
“We know that people want to take action to improve their neighbourhoods but often it’s hard to know where to start. Nextdoor Nature will let communities set their own agenda about the environmental issues they want to tackle and we’ll be looking at different ways of bringing people together and giving them support, skills and confidence to take the next step.”

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