Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers

Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers

Breaking down barriers that excluded and disadvantaged communities in Wales face when accessing nature.

Last updated: September 2023


This programme is now closed to new applications. Explore our available funding.



Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers is intended to break down barriers that excluded and disadvantaged communities face when accessing nature.

The fund aims to increase the engagement these communities have with the Local Places for Nature programme – a Welsh Government fund programme committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’.

Funded organisations and communities will work together to:

  • co-produce the future Local Places for Nature programme - co-creating ideas, plans and projects which create a ‘local place for nature’
  • increase engagement these communities have with nature in their local area

It is hoped that this funding will pay for a network of facilitators or co-ordinators to help achieve this.

The Heritage Fund is distributing Local Places for Nature ‒ Breaking Barriers on behalf of the Welsh Government.

This funding is primarily for:

  • organisations working with diverse ethnic communities, refugees, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community groups 
  • organisations working with communities in the 30% most deprived areas of Wales
  • previous recipients of Local Places for Nature grants, to help them move on to the next step of developing places for nature in their community.

If your proposal falls within the 70% of least deprived areas you may still be able to apply for funding, particularly if your project will increase the involvement of a wider range of people in natural heritage and/or those affected by the project have a specific need. Please email us at natur@heritagefund.org.uk with brief details, including the postcode of the project site, so we can advise further.

Funding available

This is a revenue only grant scheme. We are offering grants of £30,000–£100,000 for revenue costs. Total available funding is £400,000.

Working in collaboration

We want to enable groups to work in collaboration with funding and resources available from organisations including Welsh Government, ourselves and others. Our funding programmes include:

Funding nature is our joint priority

Nature is our oldest form of heritage. Looking after nature and helping people to understand and value its importance has never been more relevant.

The need to aid nature’s recovery is urgent. We also know that the impact of COVID-19 has reinforced disparity of access, with significantly fewer applications to our existing nature funds coming from:

  • disadvantaged groups
  • urban areas with high levels of deprivation
  • areas not served by a Town or Community Council

That’s why removing barriers to participation is a strategic funding priority for both Welsh Government and the Heritage Fund.

Part of the wider Local Places for Nature programme

The Breaking Barriers initiative is part of a wider Welsh Government 'Local Places for Nature' fund. This fund, targeted at areas of urban deprivation, is committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’.

There are three schemes within the current Local Places For Nature programme:

  1. Local Places for Nature funding to Local Nature Partnerships. These are led by the 25 local authorities and national park authorities. They deliver local places for nature, in collaboration with local partners across their authorities.
  2. Local Places for Nature Capital Grants – open access capital grants (with 15% revenue) programme delivered by the Heritage Fund, which is open to any not-for-profit organisation.
  3. Community Packages provided to groups that include all the materials and expertise needed to create a place for nature. The pre-paid packages are used to create community growing places or pollinator sites and can even be located on man-made surfaces. Applicants do not need a bank account or a constitution, just volunteers and a commitment to maintain the place for nature for five years

This new initiative is designed to help the most marginalised groups help shape the programme of the future and take the first steps towards creating a place for nature.   

  • grant funding for projects between £30,000 and £100,000
  • up to 100% funding
  • funding for not-for-profit organisations (statutory and third sector) with a bank account and a constitution

Applications are currently closed.

Your proposed project must be with either:

  • diverse ethnic communities, refugee, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community groups
  • a marginalised group (community of interest)


Your project must only include revenue costs, for example:

  • staffing and on costs
  • consumables
  • training and support costs
  • community consultation and 'taster' events
  • travel

Project proposals

We are looking for proposals for:

Projects that will co-create the future programme of Local Places for Nature

We will want you to have well established links with diverse ethnic communities, refugees, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community groups and other excluded and disadvantaged communities, who do not access current funding mechanisms.

You will work with those groups to identify barriers to engaging with the current Local Places for Nature programme and co-create solutions, removing barriers and enabling participation.

Example Project: You are a community organisation that works to help people from diverse ethnic communities and/or refugees backgrounds improve their health and wellbeing in areas of deprivation. You will recruit a facilitator to work with people in the community to identify opportunities, barriers and partnerships and so co-create the programme of the future. 

Projects to enable excluded and disadvantaged communities to access funding  

We expect this to be achieved by facilitators who have the expertise and experience of working with specific groups or in specific communities.

Example Project: You are an umbrella body for organisations that own land/buildings in areas of deprivation. You will recruit a facilitator to work closely with local groups to identify opportunities for community allotments and wildlife gardens on the land. You will work with the community to co-create projects, resulting in funding applications to any of the Local Places for Nature schemes.

Projects to help previous recipients of Local Places for Nature grants

These projects should help these previous recipients sustain their engagement with nature and develop proposals for the next stage of their journey.

Example project: You are body or organisation that already specialises in mentoring and supporting community groups to develop their programme of activities and/or developing plans for a range of sustainable activities involving the community.

Priority for funding

Priority for funds will be given to proposals that:

  • engage people and communities from diverse ethnic communities, refugees, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community groups
  • engage people and communities in deprived urban and peri urban areas (30% most deprived)
  • involve trained and experienced advisors who have a strong background in working with marginalised communities, and those with expertise in enhancing and restoring nature

Achieving our outcomes

Your proposal will have to achieve our mandatory outcome to ‘engage a wider range of people in natural heritage’ and at least one other outcome. Read more about our outcomes and see the supplementary guidance below for details.

Successful applicants will receive support (as a cohort) from the Heritage Fund's registered consultants. They will provide mentoring support and tailored advice on a one-to-one/group basis online to identify opportunities where grantees with common issues would benefit from peer learning.

We are not looking for

Nature projects or proposals to create a Place for Nature. If you have such a project in mind please look at the criteria for the Local Places for Nature Capital Fund or contact natur@heritagefund.org.uk to seek advice on the best way forward.

It’s important that you think about how your project will meet the requirements for this grant scheme. 

Your project must:

  • work with a community that lives within the 30% of most disadvantaged urban/peri urban areas in Wales AND significantly increase the involvement of a wider range of people in natural heritage, work with a community of interest, in particular diverse ethnic communities, refugees, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community groups
  • OR work with previous participants of the Local Places for Nature scheme
  • co-create the programme of the future, removing barriers to engagement
  • result in a plan to create places for nature, designed and led by communities
  • enable participation for a wider range of people: helping them to experience and value nature, leading to individual and community action to protect and enhance nature
  • demonstrate additional multiple benefits spanning environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing

Community languages

You must consider the use of community language(s) in all aspects of your work and tell us how you will promote and support users of community languages (as appropriate to your application) that reflect the linguistic nature of the particular community.

You will need to show how you will offer such provision in your project budget and plan. You should include the budget for translation/translators under the 'Other' costs category in the project costs section of the application form.

Welsh language

You must consider the Welsh language in all aspects of your work and tell us how you will promote and support the Welsh language and reflect the bilingual nature of Wales.

You will need to show how you will offer bilingual provision in your project budget and plan. You should include the budget for translation under the 'Other' costs category in the project costs section of the application form. If you would like more information on how to do this, please see our guidance for delivering a bilingual project and get in touch with our Welsh language support team: cymorthcymraeg@heritagefund.org.uk 


If your application is successful, you will need to acknowledge that this is a Welsh Government grant, which is managed by the Heritage Fund. Tell us how you plan to do this. Some resources will be available to successful applicants.

  • staffing costs including wages and contribution to pensions etc
  • traineeships/apprenticeships/secondments
  • full cost recovery for your organisation
  • engagement activities and events with the community
  • translators and translation into relevant community languages
  • information/training events for community members including digital skills, for example making videos posted to open access sites such as YouTube
  • taster events to enable communities to experience the benefits of nature
  • consumable items for events/'take homes' such as seeds, plug plants, peat free compost, gloves, bio degradable pots, small tools. Any wildflower plugs or seeds must be native species
  • visits to existing Local Places for Nature in your area to demonstrate what is possible and to share ideas/expertise with the heritage sector
  • volunteer expenses including travel costs, childcare, food and drink
  • planning a possible Local Places for Nature project in your area

What you cannot spend the money on

There is no dedicated Local Places for Nature - Breaking Barriers fund application form. Please follow these instructions carefully alongside our regular guidance and answer all questions in our £10,000–£100,000 grant applications. There is further supplementary guidance in the Further help and resources section of this page.

Application steps

  1. Visit our application portal and register an account. Please note: we launched a new application portal in June 2021. Anyone who registered on our portal before that date will need to re-register.
  2. From the pull-down menu choose £10,000–£100,000.
  3. Give your project a name that starts with #Natur3. 
  4. When you are ready, complete and submit a full application. 

How to answer the application form questions

You will need to use this guidance alongside the help notes that appear as you complete the application form.

 1st block on the application form 

Project title

Start your project title with #NATUR3 to help us correctly identify your application. For example: #NATUR3TownhillNatureHeroes. There is a limit of 15 words.

2nd block on the application form 'Application' 

Advice received in planning the project

Please mention all advice received. This could include advice from The Local Nature Partnership Co-ordinator, other relevant community organisations in your locality and the Heritage Fund 

Project end date

The end date can be no later than March 31 2024. 

Describe your project 

This is a key section in your application and should include information such as:

  • levels of deprivation
  • typical age ranges
  • levels of employment
  • ethnic diversity
  • local access to green space etc. 

You should tell us why local places for nature would benefit those communities. 

If your project relates to a geographic community, please include the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation overall rating for the project address.

Use the bottom link on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 interactive tool and enter the project postcode. Find the percentage rating for the overall measure of deprivation at your project address and note this percentage in your project description. 

If your proposal involves a community of interest spanning different locations, please provide the postcode of your main project base and describe the community of interest. 

Please describe and help us understand: 

  • what you believe to be the barriers to participation in your particular community
  • how individuals and communities will be supported to become involved
  • how the work proposed will make a tangible difference to individuals, communities and the natural environment
  • what the current condition of the natural environment in your locality is (if applicable)
  • what changes might be important to your community and how you will effect real and meaningful engagement with the community
  • how you will ensure any plans for the future are ‘owned’ and delivered for the community, by the community
  • what you will be spending the funding on (in general). There is additional space for a full budget later on in the application form
  • how you will include the Welsh language and/or community languages within your project
What difference will your project make?

Tell us how you think the project will change individual and community attitudes and approaches to wildlife and the natural environment. Please refer back to the grant criteria as required. 

What happens after the project ends?

Include information on how you might plan to move forward and effect change in the future. State whether you have any plans to develop a Local Places for Nature capital grant application or apply to any other funders.  

Why does this project need to happen now?

This fund is competitive. You will need to explain the motivating factors in making this application. What is it about the community or location that makes this the right thing to do now? 

For an example, are there particular development pressures on remaining pieces of open space in the area? Has the community been eager to improve their local environment but lacked the knowledge or skills on how to progress? 

Does the heritage attract visitors?

For most projects in this programme the answer we are expecting to see is 'No'. Subsequent questions will not be relevant and answering 'No' will not harm your application in anyway. 

How will you acknowledge your grant

You will also need to acknowledge that this is a Welsh Government grant and use their logo and any other branding materials that become available. You also need to acknowledge the Heritage Fund.

Please include details of how you intend to acknowledge these grants in printed and digital formats, websites, social media platforms using Welsh, English and relevant community languages. Any costs relating to translation may be included in your budget. 

Does this project involve an acquisition?

Please answer 'No'. We cannot fund acquisitions through this programme. 

At risk

Read the note on this as 'Is nature (habitats and species) in your local area at risk?'. We would expect this answer to be 'Yes' 

Will the project involve capital works?

Please answer 'No'. This is a revenue only fund and we will not fund any capital works.

Further questions on capital should be answered as 'No' or 'Not applicable'. If you require capital funding  you may wish to look at the grant criteria for the Local Places for Nature fund. 

Heritage designation

Please leave this section blank 

Project outcomes

Your project should achieve the mandatory outcome ‘a wider range of people will be involved in heritage’ and at least one other outcome:  

  • a wider range of people will be involved in heritage. Please note for these grants we mean ‘involved in our landscapes and nature’. You should tell us how you will work with diverse ethnic communities, refugees, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community groups and/or excluded and disadvantaged communities in areas of deprivation, who currently do not access Local Places for Nature funding to identify barriers and co create solutions  
  • heritage (Nature/Landscape) will be identified and better explained 
  • people will have learnt about heritage (landscape and nature), leading to change in ideas and action 
  • heritage will be in better condition. Please note that we do not expect to see direct improvement within the project timeframe but funded projects should enable this outcome to be achieved in the future


For more information about how your data will be processed under this grant programme please see our privacy policy.

We understand that you may be disappointed with a decision. There is no right to appeal or re-apply for Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers. We can only review our decision if you can make a formal complaint about how we have dealt with your application.

We have a two stage complaint process for this fund. We will only be able to consider and investigate the complaint if you can demonstrate that:

  • we did not follow the published procedures for assessing your application
  • we have misunderstood a significant part of your application
  • we did not take notice of relevant information

A formal complaint must be made in writing within 10 working days of receiving your application decision. You must send your complaint to: enquire@heritagefund.org.uk. We aim to acknowledge your complaint within three working days.

Your complaint will initially be reviewed by one of our Nation & Area Directors, who is independent of recommendation and decision panels for this fund.

We aim to communicate a decision within 15 working days from when you submitted your complaint.

For assistance, contact our Customer Services Team on 020 7591 6044 or email enquire@heritagefund.org.uk.

Changes to this guidance

We will regularly review this guidance and respond to user feedback. We reserve the right to make changes as required. We will communicate any changes as quickly as possible via this webpage.

The Local Places for Nature: Breaking Barriers grant is funded by the Welsh Government and delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Logos: The Heritage Fund and in partnership with the Welsh Government

If you query is regarding our application portal, please contact our support team.