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Funding boost for Dales conservation projects

[Monday 20 March 2006]

Projects to restore Meadows and Woodland across the Yorkshire Dales are among the beneficiaries of a multi-million pound funding boost from Defra.

The survival of Black Grouse, Cirl Bunting and a host of threatened butterflies, moths and beetles could also be assured as a result of the grants awarded on behalf of Defra by English Nature.

Yorkshire Dales woodlands receive funding boost
Yorkshire Dales woodlands receive funding boost

Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight welcomed the announcement that 33 biodiversity projects across England will be awarded grants totalling £3.8 million over the next two years.

The Minister said: "I am delighted that Defra is able to provide English Nature with the funding for this hugely valuable grant scheme.

"As well as helping to ensure the survival of rare and important species and habitats, funds are being provided for projects that involve more people in biodiversity conservation, including those from disadvantaged communities and children and young people.

"It is vital that society becomes engaged in understanding the importance and needs of biodiversity and how each of us can play our part in enhancing and conserving it for the benefit of this and future generations."

The grants are provided under the Countdown 2010 Biodiversity Action Fund, run by English Nature on behalf of Defra, to help the UK Government achieve its commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2010.

The fund aims to put local communities and volunteers at the heart of many of the projects that have won funding to restore or improve important habitats such as heathland, grazing meadows and native woodlands.

In our region the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust will use the money to fund projects to protect and enhance the important wildlife habitats that the National Park is so well known for. Funding will go towards the YDMT's Pennine Dales Meadows Project and its Yorkshire Dales Woodland Restoration Project.

Andy Brown, Chief Executive of English Nature, said: "Over the next two years, the Countdown 2010 fund will support a diverse and exciting range of projects that will benefit every region of England.

"It will help restore threatened habitats and support the recovery of some of our most endangered species on land and in our seas. Projects supported by the fund will also involve schools and communities in conservation work, helping to raise awareness that we all have a role to play in meeting the challenging target to halt biodiversity loss by 2010. English Nature is delighted to run this important scheme."

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