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Worcester communities use green grants to pledge positive action for 2022

Worcester Community Garden volunteers undertaking conservation work, with help from Brian the dog

Planting more fruit trees and vegetables, improving recycling facilities and building bird, bat, insect and hedgehog houses are among the New Year actions pledged by the first Worcester organisations to successfully apply for the City Council's new Environmental Community Grant.

Grants of between £500 and £1,000 are on offer to community groups, charities and voluntary organisations to help make neighbourhoods more environmentally friendly.

Worcester Community Garden, based at the old North Stables on the edge of Pitchcroft Race Course, successfully applied for funding to purchase and plant 22 fruit trees, along with top soil to help protect tree roots in the event of flooding.

Steve Dent, Committee member for the Worcester Community Garden said: "Our beautiful orchard garden was devastated by the severe floods of the 2020/21 winter.

"Thanks to individual donations we have managed to replace a small number of the trees that were lost, but the Environmental Community Grant will mean we can now not only replace all of the lost trees, but also build up the ground level around the new trees to better protect them against future flooding".

Perry Wood Primary and Nursery School was also one of the first to successfully apply for a grant to make bird boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog houses to be placed close to a pond in the school grounds.

Suzanne Beston, Head Teacher at the school said: "Perry Wood Primary, part of the Griffin Schools Trust, really values outdoor education and believes it supports children mental health and well-being.

"The pond area is continually being developed to ensure it is a safe space where children can investigate and learn about the importance of nature in our world today. Developing the area to include bug hotels, hedgehog houses and bird feeders will bring more wildlife in to our grounds and will have a positive impact on pupils' education."

The Worcester Environmental Group will use funding to build a variety of bird boxes, bat boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog houses that we will distribute along a proposed 12-mile wildlife corridor, known as the Wild about Worcester route. QR codes along the route will allow visitors to find out more about native species in the area, and work being done to protect them.

Worcester Theatres is using its grant to purchase portable recycling bins which can be used in the theatre and also at external events – ensuring that theatre goers, artists and staff recycle more.

"We're excited to see the first Worcester groups coming forward with actions which will make a real difference to wildlife and the environment in their local community," said Cllr Andy Stafford, Chair of Worcester City Council's Environment Committee.

"The good news is that funding is still available so more Worcester groups and individuals can still benefit. The online application process is quick and straightforward – I would encourage anyone who wants to take steps, however small, to give nature a helping hand to apply now."

Groups can apply for up to two grants for separate initiatives between now and the end of March 2022.

Applications are invited to support initiatives which will reduce carbon emissions, improve resilience to climate change, reduce waste, benefit the natural environment or raise awareness about environmental issues.

Find out full details and apply for an Environmental Community Grant

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