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Funding boost for John Clare Countryside project

A project aiming to improve Peterborough's nature offering has been given a funding boost from central government.
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The John Clare Countryside project was launched in September 2019 (Photo: Martyn Moore)

The John Clare Countryside project, which has been operating since September 2019, has received a grant of £272,000 from the government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

The project is working to create an extensive and accessible nature recovery area across the landscape to the west and north of Peterborough.

It is designed, led and supported by residents of the city, landowners, farmers, businesses and parish councils. Partners in the project include Peterborough Environment City Trust, Natural England, Langdyke Countryside Trust, Nene Park Trust, the region's Wildlife Trust, Sacrewell Farm and Peterborough City Council.

Residents are being encouraged to play a part in delivering the nature recovery area by considering how they manage their personal gardens and land-holdings, as well as by joining with their community to create specific recovery plans for each parish within the area.

The landscape created by the John Clare Countryside vision forms part of Natural Cambridgeshire's wider ambition to double nature across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.

Richard Astle, chair of the John Clare Countryside Partnership, said: “The partners are delighted to receive this grant to go towards the amazing work that has been taking place on the John Clare Countryside project. Alongside our partners on this project, we are looking forward to creating more bio-diverse, sustainable natural areas that local communities can enjoy for generations to come.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the prime minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change.

Grants ranging from £68,100 to £1,950,000 have been awarded to 90 nature projects across England to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80m fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country.”