A new fund is being launched for the protection and creation of native hedgerows in Cumbria.
The Real Hedge Fund is made up of donations from businesses, visitors and residents who love the Lake District and want to help the cause of protecting native hedgerows and the wildlife that depends on them.
The Lake District Foundation launched the fundraising initiative in June 2020 in partnership with Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and Eden Rivers Trust and now have £10,000 to award.
The fund will have two rounds with £5,000 available in each call. The first call will open at 9am on Thursday and will close at 5pm on April 30 and the second call will be in September.
The Lake District Foundation and partners are looking for those who will use the fund to purchase and plant native hedgerows between 50-100 metres, either double or singled fenced or those looking to restore native hedgerows using techniques such as “gapping up”.
This is therefore aimed at individuals, SMEs businesses, small charities and community groups operating in Cumbria.
Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation said: “We are delighted to be able to open up this round following a successful campaign.
“The Real Hedge Fund aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows in the environment and the role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District.
“The fund has an ambitious target to plant 4,000 metres of native hedgerows across the Lake District and the money available is a fantastic first step to making this happen”.
Applications will only be accepted if the environmental value can be evidenced. Activity cannot be “double funded” and applicants will need to show that their proposal is not covered by existing stewardship or grant funding scheme.
The application form and guidance can be found on the Lake District Foundation website, lakedistrictfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant/.
Applications that meet the criteria will be reviewed by the grants panel, and shortlisted applicants may be invited to meet the panel virtually and discuss their project further.
The campaign is still live, and you can still donate. To find out more about the Real Hedge Fund and to donate visit https://www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/the-real-hedge-fund/