Turning the tide: National Lottery helping to conserve our rivers, coasts and marine heritage

Binevenagh and the Coastal Lowlands in Northern Ireland Credit: Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust

Water and our connection to it has shaped the UK’s island heritage over centuries. From landform to trade, and intrinsic beauty to the devastating effects of flooding, many schemes in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are in line* for £19.7m of National Lottery funding to improve understanding and management of this precious resource.

A number of the Landscape Partnership schemes will work with local, regional and national partners to promote a catchment approach to water management by engaging people, communities and landowners to improve water management in the long term.

Many schemes awarded funding also focus on using nature and heritage to provide opportunities for communities within post-industrial landscapes, from new skills training and educational opportunities, to boosting tourism and local business promoting heritage-led regeneration.

Drew Bennellick, HLF Head of Landscape and Natural Heritage, said: “Across the UK people are increasingly realising that nature is in trouble and it’s time to take a more proactive approach. Schemes like these provide a creative solution to helping people reconnect with landscapes and the environment, to implement solutions at a truly landscape-scale and tackle issues such as soil loss and flooding by supporting partnerships and coalitions of the willing.”

The eight areas given initial support stretch from Ayrshire to Somerset.  Highlighting the range of the UK’s natural heritage - from a World Heritage Site to HLF’s first marine-based LP project – they include:

Tyne to Tees, Shores and Seas – Seascape Partnership, County Durham

£2.9m, including development funding of £201,600

HLF’s first marine-based Landscape Partnership, the Tyne to Tees project, has two key goals: conserving the Magnesian Limestone seascape; and getting coastal communities, particularly younger people, interested in caring for this beautiful stretch of north eastern coastline. 

Plans include the construction of a new educational facility which will provide an activity space for 120 pupils, putting in place a two-year trainee programme for eight individuals in natural, built and cultural heritage skills, and reintroducing the small blue butterfly.

Fellfoot Forward, Cumbria

£2.3m, including development funding of £161,300

Focused on a less well-known part of northern Cumbria, this project will deliver a number of benefits ranging from natural flood management, peatland conservation and a schools’ education programme that will reach nearly 5,000 pupils. Six heritage conservation traineeships will be set up and run in conjunction with local colleges. Volunteers will be trained in flood management skills and a small grants scheme will help farmers and local people care for hedgerows and field tree planting.

Coalfield Communities LP, East Ayrshire

£2.4m, including development funding of £195,200

This scheme covers the industrialised heartland of East Ayrshire, a part of Scotland which has been scarred by open-cast coal mines and has extremely high levels of social deprivation.  The modified landscape which lies between two river valleys, the Doon and Lugar, is currently not perceived as an attractive place to walk, cycle or visit; plans will directly address the local communities’ lack of connection to their surroundings.  The first step will be work on renewing the landscape and better telling the story of Scotland’s coalmining heritage.

Binevenagh and Coastal Lowlands LP, County Londonderry

£2.8m, including development funding of £204,200 

Binevenagh was formed by volcanoes, glaciers and man.  It contains an extraordinarily diverse range of habitats such as dunes, sandy beaches, maritime cliffs and blanket blogs.  HMP Magilligan is also a feature of the landscape. Through improvements to natural and heritage sites, it is hoped that the project will reduce negative environmental impacts and achieve as its legacy UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Status.

The four other projects that have secured initial support are:

  • The Chronicles of Charnwood, Leicestershire – £2.9m, including development funding of £176,400
  • The Brecks: Fen Edge and Rivers LP, Suffolk – £2.1m, including development funding of £151,100
  • Watercress and Winterbournes – Hampshire’s Chalk River Headwaters LP –£2.2m, including development funding of £269,400
  • Quantock Hills LP - Reimagining the Manor, Somerset – £1.9m, including development funding of £91,300

Notes to Editors

HLF’s Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities.  Grants range from £100,000 to £3m. 

Ground-breaking funding delivered thanks to National Lottery players. HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme – which has now been running for 12 years - is the most significant grant scheme available for landscape-scale projects.To date, nearly £225m has been invested 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 life-span, the LP programme has helped repair over 100km of dry stone walls, enabled 810,000 people to participate in learning activities and helped more than 45,000 volunteers get involved – the equivalent of 64,000 working hours.

Further information

Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6036 or 07973 613820

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