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£1.2 million investment in the Medlock Valley

March 15, 2024

Here at City of Trees, we are excited to announce a £1.2 million Species Survival Fund grant for a partnership project working in the Medlock Valley.

Working alongside Groundwork Greater Manchester, TCV, Canal & Rivers Trust and Mersey Rivers Trust and in partnership with Manchester City Council, Oldham Council and Tameside Council, the project will enhance habitats at seven sites across the Medlock Valley, covering almost 30ha.

Habitat improvement

The projects core focus is to halt and reverse the decline in species abundance by preserving and restoring vital habitats. The project will deliver a number of habitat improvements including:

  • Restoration work across the Aston and Rochdale canal network.
  • Naturalising the riverbank at Lees Brook Nature Park.
  • Grassland and wetland restoration and creation.
  • Active woodland management.
  • Invasive Non-Native Species management and control.
  • Planting of approx. 5000 trees and understory planting.

These habitats will become home to species including water voles, waxcap mushrooms and the Great Crested Newt.

Connecting people with nature

Project partners will coordinate a number of community events and activities which help connect local people with nature, focusing primarily on unemployed people and those experiencing poor health and wellbeing.

Green skills

The project will create six new green job roles and includes complimentary training programmes leading to an upskilled workforce more able to respond to the climate emergency.

What is the Species Survival Fund?

The Species Survival Fund, a partnership between Defra and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, has seen grants of up to £3 million awarded across England for habitat creation and restoration projects to run over the next two years.

The Species Survival Fund will help halt and reverse the decline in species abundance by preserving vital habitats. The new funding is supporting projects that tackle habitat loss, safeguard our fragile ecosystems, and create and restore nature-rich landscapes full of wildlife-friendly habitats within precious chalk streams, wetlands, heathlands, grasslands and scrublands.

The fund will create and improve natural habitats, helping Defra to meet their target to protect 30% of land for nature by 2030 (known as 30by30). The Species Survival Fund builds upon the success of similar initiatives like the Green Recovery Challenge Fund and will create the foundations for ongoing expansion of habitats to support our wildlife.

The full list of awards is here: Funding decisions | The National Lottery Heritage Fund