New Grants to Safeguard Species and Habitats in England

Natural England yesterday announced a new £5million package to support Voluntary Conservation Organisations in safeguarding England’s priority habitats and species. The new scheme, ‘Countdown 2010’, will run for the next three years, funding projects which protect specific endangered species but also supporting initiatives dedicated to the revival of habitats and species across large areas.

Voluntary Conservation Organisations can apply for three-year grants, with a minimum award of £25,000 and a maximum of £250,000 in each of the three years. The programme finishes in March 2011.

Defra yesterday published a revised list of England’s priority habitats and species, which sees the number of priority species nearly double, to 914. The Countdown 2010 Biodiversity Action Fund will support projects which target species and habitats on this list.