Cumbria Local Nature Partnership receives grant of £699,500 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help pollinators in Cumbria

Cumbria Local Nature Partnership receives grant of £699,500 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help pollinators in Cumbria

£699,500 awarded towards Cumbria Local Nature Partnership’s work to help boost pollinating insects
Image of verge on A66 after wildflower restoration for pollinators by Highways England and Get Cumbria Buzzing credit Cumbria Wildlife Trust

New Planting for Pollinators project will help restore wildflower verges in Cumbria © Highways England and Cumbria Wildlife Trust

It’s essential that, through projects like this, we restore our natural environment, bringing back habitats and species we’ve lost and ensuring that we pass on a healthy and vibrant natural environment, and the wildlife it supports, to future generations.
Tanya St.Pierre
Project Manager, Planting for Pollinators
  • The project will plant tens of thousands of wild flowers to provide pollen for these declining species
  • Defra has awarded 90 projects around the country to accelerate the implementation of nature-based projects, from new ‘insect pathways’ in our countryside and towns, to tree planting projects in deprived urban areas
  • This second funding round of Green Recovery Challenge Fund (which was announced in August 2021), is backed by £40 million and will support 2,500 jobs in England

Cumbria Local Nature Partnership, which is hosted by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery.  

£699,500 has been given to Planting for Pollinators, a partnership between Cumbria Local Nature Partnership, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre and local communities. The partnership will work to increase populations of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects by restoring 158 hectares – that’s around the size of 68 football pitches – of nectar and pollen-rich habitats. The funds will help grow wild flowers locally, and Cumbria’s verges, burial grounds, farms and cycle routes are among the many green spaces that will be restored.

Work will take place along three key ‘B-Lines’ - these are a UK-wide network of key connecting pathways for pollinating insects, running through our towns and countryside. In Cumbria the B-lines are on the coast, from Calder Bridge in the south, running north and west past Carlisle to Longtown; from east to west, running along the A66 trunk road from Penrith to Workington, and from north to south, from Penrith to the Solway.

Paul Evans, Manager of the Cumbria Local Nature Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to be awarded this grant from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Work will soon be getting underway to create and restore a fantastic mosaic of habitats across north and west Cumbria. They will help pollinating insects by providing them with food, shelter and nesting sites. The work will be carried out by a project team led by Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Cumbria County Council, whose specially-appointed Community Engagement Officer will focus on making council verges more pollinator-friendly and on working with local community groups. Planting for Pollinators is also offering several job opportunities for young people, providing essential training to help them start a career in practical conservation.”

Tanya St. Pierre at Cumbria Wildlife Trust will be managing the project: “Sadly, our wild pollinators are in trouble. More than half of UK bee, butterfly and moth species have declined in the past 50 years, and 30 species of bee face extinction. Over the last 75 years we’ve lost 97% of our flower-rich meadows and 60% of flowering plants are in decline. Much of the habitat on which our pollinators depend is now seriously fragmented or degraded, leaving less food available to them within flying distance. It’s essential that, through projects like this, we restore our natural environment, bringing back habitats and species we’ve lost and ensuring that we pass on a healthy and vibrant natural environment, and the wildlife it supports, to future generations.”

Cllr Celia Tibble, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Cumbria County Council said: “This exciting new project will help make road-side verges and paths pollinator-friendly and enable local community groups to get involved in a variety of projects across the county.

Planting for Pollinators is a fantastic initiative and an important project for Cumbria. I look forward to seeing how it develops and would urge anyone interested in a career in conservation to get involved.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies  The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall, and combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted, contributing towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:

“The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

This exciting new project will help make road-side verges and paths pollinator-friendly and enable local community groups to get involved in a variety of projects across the county.
Celia Tibble, Cabinet Member for Environment
Cumbria County Council