The second round of funding for the protection and creation of native hedgerows in Cumbria is now open.
The fund has £5,000 available in this call, running until 5pm on September 12. 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.
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 single fenced or those looking to restore native hedgerows using techniques such as “gapping up”.
This is therefore aimed at farmers, SME businesses, small charities and community groups operating in Cumbria.
Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation said: “We’re pleased to have the second round open ahead of the autumn planting season. The first call earlier this year was a huge success.
“We awarded four projects between £500 and £2,300 and they all demonstrated environmental value either by planting new native hedgerows, restoring old hedgerows or providing opportunities to allow for community engagement. We are looking forward to seeing who applies for this second round and wish everyone the best of luck”.
Applications will only be accepted if environmental value can be evidenced. Activity cannot be “doubled funded” and applicants will need to show that their proposal is not covered by an 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.
One of the successful projects awarded a grant in the first round earlier this year, Hutton Head Farm in Penrith, have started work on creating a new 84-metre ‘corridor’ hedge to join a 20-acre semi-natural ancient woodland (The Holghyll Wood) with a nine-acre hay meadow (Lacet Hill).
Phil Davies, owner of Hutton Head Farm, said: “We were delighted to receive funding from the Real Hedge Fund grant. Such a superb scheme to help protect our native hedgerows. Since receiving the grant in May we’ve ordered the hedgerow plants in preparation for the hedgerow planting season this autumn.
“We will start planting in December and January and will start erecting the double fence with the help of a fencing contractor on the farm from now onwards. The fund is allowing us to create a new hedge to link key habitats together creating an important wildlife corridor.
“I would like to thank everyone who donated to the campaign to make this funding possible.”