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From the blog

John Clare Countryside receives grant of £272,000 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund


Acting on behalf of the partners in the John Clare Countryside project, PECT has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery.

The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies  The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

John Clare

What is the project about?

As residents, businesses, parish councils, landowners, farmers and visitors we want the countryside around us to be an area where nature is at the heart of our lives: where swifts and swallows are a central feature of our summer evenings; where hares continue to enthrall people as they play in the fields and meadows; where bees and other insects thrive, not decline, and where there are far more ponds, meadows, wild flowers, hedgerows and trees. We want people to be able to walk or cycle out in safety and tranquility across this thriving countryside, enjoying the sights and sounds and even the silence of the natural world, enjoying dark skies and cherishing the heritage – both natural and man-made around them.

The John Clare Countryside project – launched in September 2019 – aims to deliver this vision through the creation of an extensive and accessible nature recovery area across the landscape to the west and north of Peterborough, designed, led and supported by residents, landowners, farmers, businesses and parish councils.

It will be distinguished from other nature recovery areas because it is community led and it combines both natural and built heritage with links through John Clare to literature and the arts. The overall agenda will promote the physical and mental health of its residents and the adjacent communities of Stamford and Peterborough. It covers an area of 11,500 Hectares.

Who are the project partners?

The John Clare Countryside project forms part of the wider ambition to double nature across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, an ambition championed by Natural Cambridgeshire the local nature partnership, and supported by Natural England, Langdyke Countryside Trust, the Wildlife Trust BCN, Sacrewell Farm and Nene Park Trust and the Combined Authority.

A significant increase in key wildlife habitats will be achieved through the expansion of existing nature reserves and other wildlife-rich sites, and by creating new reserves through land purchase or management agreements with private landowners. The aims will be to establish a much larger area of land actively managed for nature and to create natural corridors and stepping-stones between key sites. This is where the partner organisations will work together.

Local communities, businesses, residents and parish councils know what is required in their local area and so this project needs involvement from all areas to achieve its goals. Check our social channels for further news and events or our website as we publish more information on this project as it evolves.

If you would like to be involved contact us at [email protected]

#GreenRecoveryChallengeFund #TogetherForOurPlanet

John Clare