TCV and the project, London’s River Crane – Reclaiming the Riverside, has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery
Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 2,500 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall, and combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted, contributing towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.
Reclaiming the Riverside
TCV’s ‘Reclaiming the Riverside’ will restore the green corridor along the River Crane at Cranford, West London, revitalising 3km of riverside and adjoining habitat and putting the diverse local community at the heart of delivery.
The Lower Crane at Cranford, immediately east of Heathrow Airport, is badly affected by habitat degradation, fly tipping and invasive species. This land will be restored, expanding the urban wildlife corridor and connecting higher quality patches of priority habitat along the riverside including nature reserves downstream. A key part of the project is to make safe, restore and reopen a 250m disused section of river.
Partners also include Let’s Go Out And Learn (LGOAL), who’ll be running community engagement activities, and Crane Valley CIC, with additional collaboration with Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE).
Together we will:
- Conserve and restore nature across 20 hectares, including river and grassland priority habitat.
- Connect 650 local people – in a diverse community where 84% of local people are from minority ethnic backgrounds – with nature through practical volunteering, citizen science and other nature-based activities, and reopen a key section of river path.
Development Manager at TCV, Ruth Gerrard, said: “TCV is delighted to be working with our local partners in Hounslow and Hillingdon to help restore this valuable section of the river. We’re particularly excited to be working with Cranford Action Group, who are an effective grassroots movement in the community and have already achieved a phenomenal amount litter clearance locally.
“The latest State of Nature report shows how much pressure our rivers and riverside habitats are, and we know how important greenspaces are for health and wellbeing, especially in this urban community which has seen the riverside environment decline over many years. This project will make a huge difference to this stretch of the River Crane, both for wildlife and local people.”
Green Recovery Challenge Fund
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. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.
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 £80 million 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, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”
Chief Executive of National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ros Kerslake said: “From wetland restoration, to creating wildlife-rich habitat for bees, it is vital that we value, protect and rebuild our natural heritage. This new funding will not only allow projects to carry out direct conservation which is essential in protecting our biodiversity, but it will increase awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect our future.”
Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd said: “By supporting jobs from Northumberland to Somerset, the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will help deliver a nature positive future. The fund supports young people to develop skills needed to protect nature, build back greener and prepare for climate impacts, like floods and heatwaves.”
Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper said: “Our environmental and conservation charity sector does an incredible job in protecting, improving and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of communities and the economy.”
Chair of Forestry Commission, Sir William Worsley said: “This funding will help deliver thousands more trees and help us achieve our target of trebling tree planting rates in England by the end of the Parliament. We need to work towards net zero emissions by 2050; to address biodiversity loss; to better connect people with nature; and to create more green jobs in doing so. Trees are central to this and the projects being awarded these grants will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these objectives.”
A full list of awards is available to view here.