Photo by Andrew Chick
The total budget for the Witham/Slea Blue Green Corridor Project is £1.29 million.
The European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF), via their European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) have awarded the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government £743,831 (60% of the total budget) towards the project.
The remaining 40% of the funds have been provided by South Kesteven District Council, North Kesteven District Council, Environment Agency, and National Trust.
The European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) provides funds to help local areas grow, supporting investment in business, skills and employment and creating jobs. There are three types of funds involved in the ESIF programme. The European Regional Development is the fund supporting the Witham/Slea Blue Green Corridor Project, as the fund supports research and innovation, small to medium sized enterprises and creation of a low carbon economy (crown copyright).
For more information on ESIF and ERDF, visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
South Kesteven District Council
South Kesteven District Council is committed to protecting and improving the natural environment, ensuring sustainability for future generations. Its work includes:
- Ensuring the district is a clean and pleasant place to live. Helped by the creation of two Big Clean Teams in 2018, the Council has made the cleanliness of its towns and villages a top priority with the teams playing an integral part in the Council’s commitment to a higher street standard.
- Tackling climate change by reducing the Council’s carbon footprint. Declaring a climate emergency in September 2019, South Kesteven District Council’s ambitions include reducing its carbon footprint between now and 2030 by at least 30% and becoming net carbon-zero as soon as viable before 2050. The Council has successfully applied for funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, with £950,000 awarded by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy for energy efficiency projects in four of its buildings.
- Improving the Council’s parks and open spaces. High quality green spaces are regarded as essential for maintaining physical and mental health and wellbeing. They have become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic as an invaluable resource for exercise, recreation and building physical and mental resilience. The Council appreciates the importance of free and unlimited access to open space and is always looking at ways to improve its amenities. In 2020, Wyndham Park in Grantham achieved Green Flag status for the ninth year running and preliminary work has now started to also secure a Green Flag award for nearby Queen Elizabeth Park.
For more information on the work South Kesteven District does, visit their website on http://www.southkesteven.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=7912.
North Kesteven District Council
North Kesteven District Council has long recognised the benefit of wild places and green spaces to its residents and the local environment.
The natural world
The Council undertakes much work to maintain both natural habitats and more structured areas such as parks, for wildlife and wellbeing.
It also safeguards local nature reserves such as Lollycocks Field in Sleaford, conserving their high wildlife value, encouraging natural habitat growth and supporting native species of flora and fauna.
The climate emergency
The Council is committed to tackling climate change and declared a climate emergency in July 2019 following years of prior focus on the environment.
It’s since set an aim for it and the District to become carbon neutral by 2030, working together with communities and businesses on actions that cross all aspects of life in North Kesteven. Meanwhile its new Tree Strategy will increase the number of trees on Council land by 25% by 2035 to help tackle climate change, improve habitat and promote wellbeing, with 50 hectares of additional tree canopy cover by 2030.
Already the Council has reduced its own greenhouse gas emissions by
67.2% over a decade and years ahead of target; established a District heating
system founded on straw biomass; applied eco-build credentials across 300 new
council houses and various capital programmes; pioneered various green-energy
and enhanced insulation solutions across its estate and diverted waste for
For more information on the work North Kesteven District Council does, visit their website on https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/.
The Environment Agency work to create better places for people and wildlife and support sustainable development. They have a variety of important roles. In relation to the Witham/Slea Blue Green Corridor Project one of their most important roles is in conservation and ecology. The Environment Agency work with businesses and other organisations to: manage the use of resources protect and improve water, land and biodiversity improve the way we work to protect people and the environment and support sustainable growth (crown copyright).
For more information on the work the Environment Agency does, visit their website on https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency.
A statement from our funding partner:
‘The Environment Agency (EA) is delighted to be supporting South and North Kesteven District Councils in their ambitious plans to improve the river corridors through Sleaford and Grantham; both of which are very important project locations for us. Grantham is the missing link in connecting previous habitat and fish passage projects on the Upper Witham over the last decade, undertaken in conjunction with many partners including land owners and fishing clubs. The works in Sleaford support projects that the EA, Wild Trout Trust and Lincolnshire Rivers Trust have been delivering on Lincolnshire’s limestone becks.’
We want to support sustainable growth, enable more people to get involved with their local environments and provide improved habitats for a diverse range of rare and protected wildlife. This project provides the perfect opportunity to do that, fits perfectly with Governments aspirations for their 25 year environment plan and to make river corridors special places within our towns. We also hope it provides a spring board for further opportunities on these rivers and across Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire’.
The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people, Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley who saw the importance of the nation’s heritage and open spaces, and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. This year, the charity celebrates its 125th anniversary, and these values are still at the heart of everything it does.
To help mark this significant moment in its history, the Trust has committed to becoming carbon net zero by 2030, planting and establishing 20 million trees to help tackle climate change, creating green corridors for people and nature near towns and cities, running a year-long campaign to connect people with nature and continuing investment in arts and heritage. Ensuring everyone who visits feels welcome, and more people can access its places continues to be another key aspect of the charity’s work. Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 780 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. More than 26.9 million people visit every year, and together with 5.8 million members and over 65,000 volunteers, they help to support the charity in its work to care for nature, beauty, history.
For everyone for ever. For more information and ideas for great seasonal days out go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk.