Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) has been awarded a grant of £97,700 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. The project will deliver a suite of green recovery projects and engagement, enabling local communities to adapt to a changing climate.
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.
The River Chew Reconnected project will deliver a suite of work that we hope will act as a stimulus for further support, to create a healthier river for wildlife and people to enjoy. The project will deliver two river habitat enhancement schemes that have been developed through BART’s feasibility work. The project will deliver 500m of riparian enhancements that will improve aquatic, marginal and terrestrial habitat. The project will include planting of approximately 2000 riparian trees and shrubs in accordance to BART’s tree planting strategy and the creation of several seasonal ponds across two sites to reduce surface water runoff from agricultural fields and increase floodplain habitat diversity. Restoration of habitats will help them function more naturally once again, unlocking natural processes and maximising transitional and in-stream habitat. At a local scale, the river will become more resilient to pressures such as climate change and form more coherent priority habitats, as building blocks of the Nature Recovery Network.
Alongside physical works on the ground, BART will deliver a community Sustainable Water Usage project that will engage local communities and schools to also take action to protect our rivers. We will target both urban and rural communities, with the overarching aim of educating and inspiring individuals to become guardians of their local river. The Green recovery Challenge Fund has enabled us to recruit a part-time Community Engagement Officer to support this work and deliver a programme of events, talks and walks with local communities. The project will support the general public’s re-discovery of nature and promote the benefits of a healthy and bio-diverse river to society. To find out more about the project please get in touch with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Project updates will be made available on BART’s website.
Bristol Avon Rivers Trust Simon Hunter, Chief Executive Officer said:
“Nature works hard for us. The services it provides include supporting food production, storing carbon, and providing renewable resources. Water is a case in point. Our freshwater environments supply water for all our needs as well as preventing erosion and providing natural protection from flooding. However, only 14% of our rivers meet Good Ecological Status under the Water Framework Directive: that figure has not changed since 2009 and our rivers are under increasing pressure – from climate change, diffuse pollution and human modification. We need to work with natural solutions to tackle the many challenges our rivers face. The Green Recovery Challenge Fund will enable us to deliver suite of nature-based solutions in the Chew Valley, including planting of riverside trees and raising awareness of the actions local communities can take to improve the health of our local rivers. This project will deliver towards the wider River Chew Reconnected plan that aspires to create a healthy and resilient river and catchment; where nature thrives and which communities can access and enjoy, both now and in the future.”
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.
A full list of awards is available to view at: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/publications/green-recovery-challenge-fund-second-round-decisions-july-2021