Securing a legacy for natural heritage

Since October 2015 we’ve been running the Yorkshire’s back garden campaign to raise awareness of the importance of natural heritage but also how National Lottery players are helping to support wildlife and nature.

We’re pleased to announce that over the last two years we’ve invested more than £18 million in 36 nature and landscape projects in Yorkshire and the Humber. We’ve supported parks and landscapes but just as importantly 28 of these projects were for grants of less than £100,000 with 15 new groups receiving money from HLF.

As we look to the future we brought together groups from across the natural heritage sector to discuss how we can secure a legacy for the natural heritage sector and ensure that the sector is more resilient moving forward. Below are some of the key points that came out of the discussion but we’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think would help the natural heritage sector be stronger for the future?

Key outcomes from discussions:
• There is a real need for capacity building and support for smaller groups to apply for and deliver nature projects.
• Simplifying the application process could support groups to apply. Also a demand for grant of less than £3,000 for smaller groups.
• Early conversations with HLF help make the process easier.
• Important to consider how to sustain the benefits of projects but also to measure impact and show what has worked.
• Partnerships within the natural heritage sector are important to ensure the resilience for the sector, sharing experiences and supporting each other. Medium sized organisations can help to support and facilitate smaller groups.
• Networking opportunities to share knowledge and support groups to move forward. These could also help get information about HLF funding opportunities out to more people.
• Important that the whole sector works to get people to identify with nature. There is a role for projects to tell their story and ambassadors to promote the benefits of nature and the difference HLF can make.
• Sharing data is extremely important and HLF projects collect a significant amount that needs to be stored and fed into national networks and data centres.

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View Katharine Boardman's profile Katharine Boardman Oct 20 2017 - 12:18pm
  1. An interesting workshop in Leeds last week and thanks for inviting me along. I was struck by the thought that good Natural Heritage projects need not necessarily come from or be initiated by the nature conservation sector, and indeed reaching new people and community groups who are not 'the usual suspects' in the natural heritage sector is probably important.

    I was also conscious, through my admittedly limited experience of community groups for which the prime driver is not nature or conservation, that the wider public perceptions of HLF are really crucial to understand.

    I think, though HLF is pretty much a 'household name' in funding, many ordinary people and groups still strongly associate HLF (and indeed the umbrella term 'heritage') with built heritage, historical tangible stuff like museum collections or artwork and not with nature, greenspaces, biodiversity or geology for example. Landscape possibly moreso lately but my view is skewed by awareness of LPS programmes.

    I don't know what the answer is but somehow Yorkshire's Back Garden did not  for me seem to make that link as obvious as it could be. Does it need a more direct message without the nuance of gardens or backyards, that Nature = Heritage or something? 

  2. View Tim Burkinshaw's profile Tim Burkinshaw
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