Helping hand for nature in North Devon

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Tuesday 22nd February 2022 12:00 pm
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A POST-COVID funding pot aimed at regenerating Devon’s rural economy is to see an extra six conservation officers for Devon Wildlife Trust.

The grant from the National Capital Challenge Fund will be used to establish six new posts to support local landowners, farms and smallholdings with rewilding initiatives and habitat restoration.

Russell Luscombe, fundraising officer for Devon Wildlife Trust, said: ’Devon Wildlife Trust is grateful for the NCCF grant towards our new project. This will create healthier ecosystems and address economic needs in this significantly deprived area, advising 100 land managers and supporting over 400 people to learn new skills.’

The project is one of six being supported with a total of £300,000 through Devon County Council’s Natural Capital Challenge Fund.

The NCCF was created to stimulate the county’s post-Covid recovery through investment in the Natural Capital sector. It was heavily oversubscribed, with more than £1 million’s worth of application bids received for the new grant fund. The six projects which successfully bid for a share of the funding will create over 25 jobs, more than 360 training places and will capture and store more than 1,400 tonnes of carbon in the funding period alone, with benefits continuing to accrue well into the future. Also benefiting is the Running Deer Community Interest Company in Moretonhampstead, for its countryside worker skills is a training programme in Moretonhampstead delivering countryside management skills and accredited qualifications free of charge to people not in education, employment or training.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet member for economic recovery and skills, said: ’As well as providing positive improvements for our local environment, these six projects are delivering jobs and providing people with new skills which could set them on a new career path. It’s great to see that these schemes will restore and regenerate land, which is vital as we look to achieve net zero carbon targets across the county.’

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