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Green groups invited to apply for £2,000 grants from New Forest National Park Authority

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GRANTS of up to £2,000 are being offered by the national park authority to help start up sustainable living projects in the New Forest.

The NPA’s Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF) offers money for projects which boost wildlife, reduce emissions or connect people to nature.

Schools, youth groups, and other organised community groups and charities that are either based within the national park or include people who live within the boundary can apply.

The Minstead community shop is one of the local projects to receive funding from the NPA
The Minstead community shop is one of the local projects to receive funding from the NPA

Projects which have been supported by the SCF recently include helping with start-up costs of Minstead’s volunteer-run community shop, changes to the lighting and heating at Bramshaw Scout Hut to improve its energy efficiency, and the planting of 400 square metres of wildflower meadows in eight local locations.

NPA member John Sanger said: “We have committed to ensure the national park is net zero by 2050. That means we need a huge community effort to work with nature to reduce our carbon footprint.

“The Sustainable Communities Fund is one way we at the national park authority can help support our schools, villages and communities to adapt to reduce emissions and make the national park more resilient in the face of the effects of climate change.

“A large number of small, individual actions can really make a difference.”

The national park is also leading the Greenprint Partnership, which is made up of local authorities from across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, to help rebuild the local economy post-Covid to reduce the impact on the environment.

Chair of the partnership for south Hampshire, Cllr Seán Woodward, said: “As world governments meet to discuss our global challenges, leaders [locally] are planning local solutions to our environmental, social and economic pressures.

“Greenprint is central to our ambitious vision to make our region a leading example of how we can build a sustainable future for our people and businesses, as well as for our outstanding natural environment.”

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/climatechallenge

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