Grants of up to £5,000 will be available to help create vital new wildflower havens for bees and other pollinators.
The South Downs National Park Trust is embarking on one of the biggest charitable wildflower planting initiatives the South East has ever seen as part of the Bee Lines project.
It comes after the community rallied round to raise £75,000 to create a new network of wildflower corridors to help support bees and other pollinators, which have been on a steep decline across the UK for several decades and are now under threat from climate change. New wildflower planting will effectively create a “road system” for pollinating insects, allowing them to move through the landscape more easily and over time become more resilient to changes in the environment.
The Expressions of Interest process is now open and submissions will be taken until midnight on September 30.
The South Downs National Park Trust, the official independent charity for the National Park, is looking to hear from farmers, private landowners, parish councils and local authorities with land that may be available for wildflower planting.
Nick Heasman, countryside and policy manager for the South Downs National Park and who is leading the project, said: “It’s exciting to be able to open this out to the community and finally get the ball rolling on the wildflower planting.
“This a wonderful opportunity to be part of nature recovery, making a difference to the health of our habitats and helping conserve our precious environment for future generations.”
Grants of up to £5,000 will be available, subject to match funding from the applicant and a commitment to help maintain the wildflowers in future years. Applicants could use the funding for improving existing land to benefit pollinators, for instance, through cultivation and seed mixes.
Eligible projects for Bee Lines should sit within the South Downs National Park and applications will be assessed against criteria, including habitat improvement, connectivity with other “Bee Lines” and community impact.
For more detail and guidance on making an Expression of Interest please visit: southdownstrust.org.uk/beelines/
Any queries relating to the Expression of Interest can be directed to Mark Rose on 01730 819219 or email email@example.com