Applications open for second round of Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Red tailed Bumblebee - Princes Park meadow, Falkirk (c)Claire Pumfrey
This £40million fund will once again support projects across England to restore nature, tackle climate change and connect people with nature.

Almost £40m was awarded to 68 projects in November in the first round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Now environmental charities and their partners have another opportunity to apply for grants between £50,000 and £2million, which aim to kick-start the nation’s green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This [funding] is more important than ever as we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Rebecca Pow, Environment Minister

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The fund will be delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive at The Fund, said: “We are so pleased to be working with Defra once again to ensure that the nature and environment sector receives this further support from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund."

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow said: “I am delighted to launch the second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help kick-start more projects to restore nature, tackle climate change and create and retain thousands of new jobs as society comes together for our planet. This is more important than ever as we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic.   

“In the first round, we awarded grants across a broad variety of environmental projects, ranging from planting trees, and restoring peatlands to connecting people with green spaces, forests and protected landscapes. I encourage more organisations to apply so we can continue to make a real difference.”

Who can apply?

Projects are required to contribute to at least one of the following themes of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund:

  • nature conservation and restoration
  • nature-based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • connecting people with nature

Increasing biodiversity

In the first round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, The North York Moors National Park Trust, in partnership with North York Moors National Park Authority, was awarded a grant of over £160,000 to establish the North York Moors Woodland Restoration Team.

This project will focus on restoration and conservation of large areas of woodland through planting trees and shrubs to boost diversity, increase pollen sources and secure the future of these high priority habitats.

The project has also created the opportunity for four young people to gain skills and experience in forestry and land management.

North York Moors Trust team at work in the snow

Restoring peatland

Cumbria Wildlife Trust was given £249,500 to restore 300 hectares of peatlands at three sites within the Lake District National Park: Armboth, Tilberthwaite and Shap Fells.

This project will restore peatlands for wildlife, water quality, flood prevention and for the vital role they play in locking carbon in their soils. The Trust will also develop new peatland restoration sites, securing jobs beyond the life of the project.

Supporting bees

Buglife received £184,000 for their B-Lines project to create wildflower ‘superhighways’ for the endangered bumblebee population.

The network of three-kilometre-wide insect pathways connect the best remaining wildflower-rich habitats across the UK, allowing pollinator insects and other wildlife to move freely, re-colonise and flourish.

Grangepans meadow - Bridgeness Biodiversity

How to apply

Organisations can apply for this funding via our application portal, which is now live.

The deadline for applications for grants from £50,000 to £250,000 is 12noon on 14 April 2021. 

For applications from £250,000 to £2 million, you must submit an Expression of Interest by 12noon on 22 March 2021. Proposals that best meet the criteria will be invited to make a full application.

Find out more

Update 18 March 2021: Watch a recording of our support webinar held on Friday 12 March.

Places are limited to 150, but the webinars will be recorded and available on our website the following week. You must read the guidance before attending a webinar.

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