£2.8m National Lottery grant will help Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust protect ‘Sheffield Lakeland’

Monday 7th November 2016

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has been granted initial approval¹ for a £2.8m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to set up a special ‘Landscape Partnership’ aimed at protecting and improving the city’s unique ‘Sheffield Lakeland’ area.
The project, part of HLF’s Landscape Partnership (LP) programme², will deliver an exciting programme of activities across an area that stretches from Langsett to Redmires and from the edge of Sheffield city to the moorland slopes of the Peak District National Park – an area referred to as Sheffield Lakeland in the 1950s.
Organisations such as Yorkshire Water, Sheffield City Council and Bradfield Parish Council, as well as community groups, residents, farmers and land owners, have already expressed their support for the project and will form part of the steering group.
Activities planned include: managing woodlands, heaths and grasslands to benefit people and wildlife; improving footpaths and access for all across the area; finding ways to naturally improve drinking water and reduce flood risk in the city; repairing drystone walls; celebrating local heritage, music and history; offering farm visits, school and family activities, strolls for older people; as well providing volunteering and training opportunities in heritage conservation.
There are also plans for a community grant scheme to fund small projects that help to look after and share local heritage with others.
Liz Ballard, Chief Executive at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said: “This landscape is an often forgotten part of the National Park and Sheffield but it is absolutely stunning and has some really important wildlife and fascinating local history. It is an important part of Sheffield’s ‘Outdoor City’ and we want to work with partners across this landscape to deliver a great project with local people that conserves our natural environment and heritage.
This is such an exciting opportunity for Sheffield, we are so pleased to have got through the initial stage of this national scheme. Landscapes are shaped by nature and people over hundreds of years, and so this project is about celebrating what we love and enjoy in this area now as well as looking after it for the future. We will be using the development fund to work up our project ideas in much more detail, building on all the enthusiasm and support we have already received from so many people and partners across the area.”
Wildlife conservation plans include the support and protection of owls and other birds of prey found in the area, which have been declining in recent years. Another rare species that will benefit is the internationally threatened white-clawed crayfish, which has experienced a dramatic fall in numbers due to the presence of the larger American signal crayfish – an invasive species increasingly prevalent in British waterways. There are also plans to improve access and understanding of some of the city’s lesser-known pre-industrial sites that are found in the area, including ancient monuments and burial mounds.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:
“Our historic landscapes are incredibly important to people’s wellbeing and need to be protected. Some of the landscapes we are funding today are in the most remote parts of the UK; others form an important backdrop to some of our largest cities. What they all have in common is the potential to make people’s lives better, which is why they are so richly deserving of National Lottery money.”

A development grant of £240,000 has been awarded by HLF to enable Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to develop its plans and seek final approval for the full grant amount of £2.8 million at a later date.

For further information contact Liz Ballard, CEO at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, on mail@wildsheffield.com or tel: 0114 2634335.

1. ¹ HLF’s Landscape Partnership (LP) programme operates a two-stage grant approval process. Today’s announcement means that money has been set aside by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the scheme. The applicant initially receives development funding, then progresses to the second round and submits a further, fully-developed application to secure the full award. This early level of strong financial commitment means that Landscape Partnership projects can move forward with the assurance that funding for their scheme is in place provided that their final proposals fully meet the programme's criteria.

2. ² HLF’s Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities. Grants range from £100,000 up to £3m. The next closing date for LP applications is May 2017.