£25m of Heritage Lottery Fund cash will help open up countryside to city dwellers

Llyn Ogwen at the Carneddau Landscape Partnership in Snowdonia Credit: Geraint Thomas/Panorama

People living in Sheffield, Glasgow, London and Bath will have the opportunity to reconnect with the nature and cultural heritage of the often-neglected surrounding countryside. A further eight areas to receive funding include some of the most remote places in the UK, including Snowdonia and the North York Moors National Parks.

The four city-based projects:

  • The landscape surrounding Sheffield, which provides clean air and water, supports wildlife, helps reduce flooding and improves people’s health and wellbeing, has support for a £2.8m scheme run by the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust. This will include managing and improving woodland and grassland wildlife habitats, and supporting species including the white-clawed crayfish, breeding waders and barn owls
  • The Garnock Valley in Ayrshire has some of the highest levels of deprivation in Scotland. The industrialised but important landscape includes the Muirshiel uplands, the industrial centre of Irvine Bay and dune and mudflat habitats – home to wintering migratory birds and insect biodiversity. Remnants of heavy industry sit alongside significant natural heritage such as the Ardeer peninsula. A £1.5m grant will help conserve habitats, improve access and tell the fascinating social history of the landscape
  • Colne Valley is the last open countryside before entering west London, stretching along the River Colne from Rickmansworth to Staines and South Bucks to Hillingdon. Straddling five counties and with three million people living within 10 miles, its beauty is largely hidden. A £1.7m scheme will bring the landscape back from the brink of irreversible decline and will include river enhancements, sustainable management of wetlands and grasslands and better access via paths and bridleways
  • The countryside surrounding Bath has received support for £1.8m funding to reconnect people with the surrounding landscape, including improved grass and woodlands, new outdoor learning centres, better access, an oral history project and training for hundreds of volunteers. Although Jane Austen was known to enjoy walking in the hills around Bath, currently the landscape is not visited or used for outdoor activity by a significant proportion of residents

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), said: “Our historic landscapes are incredibly important to people’s wellbeing and need to be protected. Some of the landscapes we are funding today are in the most remote parts of the UK; others form an important backdrop to some of our largest cities.  What they all have in common is the potential to make people’s lives better, which is why they are so richly deserving of National Lottery money.”

Funding spread right across UK

Today’s announcement covers every country and region of the UK. Additional projects approved for funding are:

  • Cranborne Chase on the border of Dorset and Wiltshire - £1.78m including £105,400 development funding

  • Transforming the Trent Valley, Staffordshire - £2.97m including £256,300 development funding

  • The Ryevitalise Landscape Partnership in Helmsley, York, North Yorkshire - £2.1m including £274,600 development funding
  • The Heart Of Ancient Ulster, Northern Ireland - £2m including £85,000 development funding
  • Westmorland Dales Hidden Landscapes, Cumbria - £2.49m including £224,200 development funding
  • Chalk, Cherries and Chairs - Central Chilterns Landscape - £2.18m including £185,600 development funding
  • Tir & Môr Ynys Cybi Land & Sea : Holy Island Landscape Partnership, Wales - £1.26m including £115,600 development funding
  • Rhannu'r Hen Fynydd: Carneddau Landscape Partnership, Wales - £1.91m including £198,700 development funding

Success spanning more than a decade

HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme – which has now been running for over a decade - is the most significant grant scheme available for landscape-scale projects. To date, HLF has invested £221m in 125 different areas across the UK, helping forge new partnerships between public and community bodies and ensuring people are better equipped to understand and tackle the needs of their local landscapes. 

Over its lifespan, the Landscape Partnership programme has helped repair over 145km of dry stone walls, enabled 144,916 people to participate in learning activities and helped more than 48,000 volunteers get involved – the equivalent of 614,186 working hours.

Further information

Simon Oliver, HLF Press Office, via tel: 020 7591 6032/out-of-hours and on mobile: 07973 613820

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