Community grants to support local nature-based projects

Our vision is that by doubling the area of rich wildlife habitats and natural green space, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will become an outstanding environment where nature and people thrive, and businesses prosper.

Cambridgeshire currently has one of the smallest areas of land managed for nature in the country, relative to size. We want to double the amount of land in the county that’s managed for nature from 8% to 16%, which is the national average.

Why do we need to do this?

We need to:

  • give nature space and help to reverse declines in habitat and species
  • provide more areas for people to enjoy nature and to benefit our health and wellbeing
  • improve the quality of air that we breathe
  • help manage water for nature
  • create more resilience to climate change, and
  • boost the economy of our area.

How are we going to do it?

Plans of this scale involve a massive effort across a wide range of areas, we are therefore looking at a range of opportunities to double nature, including the following:

  • the delivery of large-scale habitat restoration schemes through six identified priority landscapes
  • ensuring that nature-friendly development is at the heart of the Combined Authority’s economic growth agenda
  • working with Local Authorities to use their powers to positively influence planning decisions
  • working with our farming community to help them understand and deliver climate change mitigation and creation of wildlife
  • transforming our current green spaces, to create homes for wildlife
  • providing information on gardening for nature and showing the importance of wildlife-friendly gardens
  • making sure there is enough water for wetland creation, and
  • creating new sources of investment to support our natural capital.

Find out more about the six priority landscapes here.

How can you get involved?

Everyone has a crucial role to play to enable this ambition to become a reality.  We need individuals, communities, and organisations to take action now to start making Cambridgeshire and Peterborough a better place for nature.

With the support of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Future Parks, applications are sought for local nature-based projects that enable greater community engagement with nature and public green space. That might simply be enhancing habitats for wildlife in school grounds, setting up a Friends group for a local park, or accessing training and advice to help you or your organisation to develop your project further.

Applicants are strongly advised to read Natural Cambridgeshire’s Local Nature Recovery Toolkit before applying and must demonstrate how their project will contribute towards the development of a Local Nature Recovery Plan for their community. The aims of a Local Nature Recovery Plan are to:

  • increase and enhance key wildlife habitats
  • help communities understand, appreciate and enjoy their natural spaces
  • promote public health and wellbeing
  • create resilient countryside and communities, where nature is at the heart of the approach to tackling the climate emergency, and
  • champion examples of best practice for sustainable development and management of parks and green open space.

This grant scheme has been enabled by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Future Parks (CPFP), a collaboration between Cambridgeshire’s seven local authorities, Natural Cambridgeshire, and the Nene Park Trust.

CPFP is supported through the Future Parks Accelerator, a national collaboration between the National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Trust and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.