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Sustainable Development Fund helps Peak District grow green

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 26 August 2009

25 August 2009

Sustainable Development Fund helps Peak District grow green

The Peak District Sustainable Development Fund is sowing the seeds of a green future with grants to help community orchards, a chain of wood-fuel growers and wildflower meadows around schools.

The Fund’s allocation panel has offered grants including:

  • £8,000 to the Hayfield Community Orchard Project, organised by Hayfield Parish Council, aiming to create a series of village orchards, involving schoolchildren and youth groups in their cultivation. The youngsters will learn new skills, the trees will help absorb greenhouse gases, and the fruit will help promote healthy eating and local food-sourcing.
  • £7,800 to Off-Peak Energy, a not-for-profit company, to help develop a local wood-fuel supply-chain for environmentally-friendly boilers. It aims to set up a group of local growers, producing wood-chip from woodlands managed for biodiversity, plus a storage facility and delivery organisation.
  • £6,000 to the Grounds for Change project run by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, which helps schools create wild-flower meadows, mini-moorland habitats, ponds and woodlands in their own grounds. This third year of the project will include schools in and around the national park, such as Hope, Eyam, Tansley and Matlock.
  • £9,800 to help develop a 12-mile Tree Trail around Bollington, with 10 circular walks taking in 11 ancient woodlands. This is part of the “Walking for Health” initiative set up by the Bridgend Community Centre. Much of the work will be done by volunteers from the centre, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010.
  • Nearly £3,000 to Groundwork Cheshire’s Wild at Heart project, aiming to bring pupils from two special schools from Macclesfield and Northwich into the Peak District National Park. Staying over a weekend, they will work towards the John Muir Award for nature conservation, sharing their experiences at an eco-conference for special schools in November.
  • £1,500 to Priestley Farmers and Haulage Contractors to support the collection of hay-meadow seed from high-quality sites in the Peak District National Park. The seed will be used for hay-meadow enhancement projects throughout the Peak District. Hay-meadows - which provide diverse habitats for wild flowers, insects, birds and mammals - have dwindled drastically in the past 50 years.

The Sustainable Development Fund, managed by the Peak District National Park Authority, gives grants to businesses and organisations that help sustain communities or the environment or promote education and social well-being. It receives about £200,000 a year from Defra to support the long-term future of the area.

Harry Bowell, chair of the fund’s independent allocation panel, said: “These projects are living proof that Peak District communities are serious about looking after their environment. It’s particularly heartening to see them getting young people involved to ensure a brighter long-term future. We’re glad to be able to offer support to such vital projects.”

More details: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/sdf or 01629 816312.

This is an archived press release

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