Environmental grants supporting local action

Environmental projects across South Gloucestershire are being given a helping hand by the council to get them off the ground.

Almost £75,000 has been awarded to 33 community groups across the district to support community action, volunteering and environmental improvement this financial year.

Councillor Brian Allinson, executive member for Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment said: “As part of building the Big Society, the council is committed to providing the resources forhelping local communities who want totake an active role in looking after the environment and the benefits that this provides for people, places and wildlife.

“The Environment Grant supports a broad range of environmental projects, for example, enhancing biodiversity, improving access to green spaces, supporting community events and learning, and promoting low-carbon, sustainable lifestyles.”

The Environment Grant provides up to 80% of total project costs where there is demonstrated community involvement and environmental benefit. Applicants are required to contribute 20% of total project costs, which can be made up of cash, materials in kind or the value of volunteer labour.

One group that has benefited is Mangotsfield Parish Council which has been awarded £729 to employ an ecologist to prepare a new site conservation management plan for Rodway Common.

Jacqueline Gregory, Parish Clerk said: “We are very grateful to South Gloucestershire Council for this generous grant. It has enabled us to obtain expert advice on how best to care and conserve Rodway Common, a much loved and well used open space, over the next five years.”

The Council also operates a grant scheme aimed at landowners and farmers to enhance the biodiversity and landscape of South Gloucestershire; the grant part-funds works such as tree planting, hedgelaying, pond restoration and dry stone walling.

Both grants have criteria that need to be met, but the simple application form and advice at the end of the phone makes it a straight forward grant to apply for. For further information please contact the Council on 01454 863581/863725 or visit the Council’s website www.southglos.gov.uk/environmentalgrants.

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