Heritage Fund pumps £15m into natural heritage

Winnats Pass, Peak District. Photo: Tim Hill/Pixabay

The Heritage Fund in the UK is funding projects aimed at connecting communities with their natural heritage.

The projects build on 215 walking trails the fund has already helped to create across the UK.

Funding has been awarded to the National Trust’s Divis and the Black Mountain project (£3m) to create new walking trails connecting people in north and west Belfast to the hills that form a part of the city’s skyline.

The organisation Froglife has been awarded £573,078 to create a new London Blue Chain walking route alongside the historic 52-mile London Green Chain. It will also create, restore and connect freshwater habitats that support amphibian and reptile populations.

Peak District Mosaic’s Championing National Parks for Everyone project is receiving £557,955 to continue to raise awareness of and improve accessibility to the Peak District, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, particularly among diverse ethnic communities.

The City of Wolverhampton Council has been awarded £217,000 in development funding towards a potential delivery grant of £2.1m to develop plans to promote the heritage of Smestow Valley Local Reserve, a 4.5km long UNESCO Global Geopark.

Other projects receiving funds are A Garden Fit For a King (Brighton), St Andrews Heritage Museum and Garden, Life on the Edge, led by South Devon National Landscape, Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust’s Unlocking Highgate Cemetery project, and The Clywedog Valley Heritage Partnership led by Groundwork North Wales.

Eilish McGuinness, chief executive at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “At a time of year when many of us are looking to get out into the fresh air and walk off the festive excess, I’m thrilled we are supporting projects that will help more people experience the benefits of nature across the UK.

“Preserving natural heritage is core to what we do, and we look forward to seeing these projects enhance access to nature and walking for a diverse range of people. National Lottery funding will help to ensure these outstanding places are valued, cared for and sustained for everyone’s future.”