Derbyshire Wildlife Trust receives grant of £538,000 from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Derbyshire project is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund and one of only 21 projects awarded a grant over £250k.

Defra announced grants between £62,000 and £3.8 million today, to help create and retain thousands of green jobs. The projects, spread across England, will see protected landscapes and damaged habitats such as moorlands, wetlands and forests restored, alongside wider conservation work. The projects will also support environmental education and connecting people with green spaces.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s project will help to improve the fortunes of wildlife and the Trust’s ambition to put 30 percent of the county back into recovery for nature by 2030. This includes increasing woodland and wetland in the Derwent valley to reduce flooding, exploring eco-tourism opportunities and increasing control of invasive species.

Funding will also help the Trust to recover some of the momentum that has been lost due to Covid and work more closely with communities and increase education opportunities to bring more wildlife into people’s daily lives. 

Dr Jo Smith, chief executive of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said:

“Our wildlife is facing huge pressure and declining at an alarming rate but this incredible grant from Defra and the National Lottery Heritage Fund puts us in a much stronger position to support a green recovery, and help people living, working and visiting Derbyshire to have a better connection with the wondrous wild places on our doorstep. 

“I’m so proud of my amazing team after a very tough year - we’re bouncing back stronger and more determined to create a wilder Derbyshire for people and for wildlife and this is the best Christmas gift we could have wished for.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change.  The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.


Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:

“These projects will drive forward work across England to restore and transform our landscapes, boost nature and create green jobs, and will be a vital part of helping us to build back greener from coronavirus.

“I look forward to working with environmental organisations as these projects help address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, while creating and retaining jobs as part of the green recovery.”


Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Supporting our natural environment is one of the most valuable things we can do right now. All these projects are of huge benefit to our beautiful countryside and wildlife, but will also support jobs, health and wellbeing, which are vitally important as we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.”

The Wildlife Trusts ambition is for at least 30% of our land and sea to be connected and protected for nature’s recovery by 2030. Making more space for nature to become abundant once again will give our struggling wildlife the chance to recover and also restore beautiful wild places.