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Major boost for biodiversity in South Downs National Park as grants are announced

by | 08 Apr 24 | Nature & Biodiversity, News

Community-led nature projects across Hampshire and Sussex to benefit from over £130,000 in new funding from the South Downs National Park Trust to help restore biodiversity.

The ReNature fund will be granted to 13 community fronted projects across the region in an effort to create 13,000 hectares of new habitat, as well as improving existing nature.

Among the plans are a new wildflower meadow at Twyford, near Winchester, to help support and encourage butterflies and small mammals.

Hedgerows will be restored to help bird species, such as blue tits and yellowhammers, at Slindon, in West Sussex.

While in Lewes work will take place to restore a chalk stream and provide more wetland habitat for species such as dragonflies and lapwings.

Funding will also go towards helping restore the Queen Elizabeth Country Park’s juniper trees, which are one of Britain’s three native conifer species.

The project will work to save the country park’s two remaining juniper trees, as well as establishing a new wildlife corridor of more than 100 new juniper trees.

“ReNature is about creating nature everywhere, for everyone, and involves establishing new wildlife havens and improving existing habitats such as chalk grassland, heathland and woodland,” says Jan Knowlson, biodiversity officer for the National Park.

“The biodiversity crisis is not going away – one in six species are now at risk of being lost in Great Britain and the figure from a decade ago was one in 10,” says Jan Knowlson, biodiversity officer for the National Park.

As the initiative enters its third year, the South Downs National Park Trust hopes the project will conserve and enhance nature sites across the region, increasing access to green spaces, alongside providing benefits to local schools, youth groups and the wider communities.

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