From accessible toilets to planting 1,000s of trees, to picnic areas and heating solutions…..the Veolia Environmental Trust has supported it all!
The Veolia Environmental Trust was established in 1997 under the Landfill Communities Fund*. Since then, Veolia has contributed over £85m to the Trust. These funds have been used to support in excess of 2,400 community and environmental projects in England.
In March 2020, the board of Trustees awarded a further £1.2 million to 30 brilliant community projects. Grants ranged from £10,000 to convert a toilet to become fully accessible in Solihull, up to a £75,000 grant to refurbish and modernise a recreation hall in Edgbaston.
This isn't new to us. These projects will add to the list of over 2,400 projects funded by the Trust.
Let's take a look at some recently completed projects.
Increasing accessibility to
the Peace Orchard
The Coventry Community Peace Orchard is a unique community project in Coundon Hall Park in North West Coventry. Established in 2017, hundreds of school students and local people planted 250 native apple trees and 400 hedging plants on a 4-acre site to create an environmental, community, education and commemorative resource.
The Trust supported phase two of the project focused on access improvements. With a grant just shy of £40,000, the Trust funded the construction of a new footpath, seating, and signage - using recycled materials where possible - and contractor costs. The footpath now provides a safe pedestrian route from the car park to the orchard and has allowed those with mobility issues to now access and enjoy the community space.
Project Category: Public Woodland
Grant Value: £39,438
Grand Awarded: December 2018
Project Completed: March 2020
Project Category: Habitat Restoration
Grant Value: £449,750
Grand Awarded: September 2018
Project Completed: March 2020
Extending and restoring peatland
Winmarleigh Moss is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) for its bog vegetation ability. The site is an internationally important habitat providing a critical reservoir of unique and important species, many of which are extinct throughout the rest of Lancashire.
Through a grant of just under £450,000, the Trust supported the purchase and enhancement of 14ha - that's equivalent to 14 rugby pitches - of Winmarleigh Moss SSSI, bringing it into conservation management by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust for the first time. The Trust's grant also extended to the purchase of 20ha - another 20 rugby pitches - of adjacent land, which was formerly a bog, and will be restored back to wetland habitat. The restoration of the peatland will lead to enhanced biodiversity, increased carbon storage and reduced flood risk for the local community.
Providing a home for Beavers
Wildwood Wildlife Park's mission is to protect, conserve and rebuild British wildlife. The park is home to over 200 native animals, past and present and is set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland.
The Trust funded just under £25,000 to support a project focussed on Beaver reintroduction. The Knapdale Beaver population reached a genetic bottle-neck stunting the potential for growth. The wildlife park used the funding to create a quarantined pond, including a viewing window, for the introduction of newly acquired Beavers. Breeding these Beavers there will be sufficient genetic diversity in the population to make them self-sustaining. As Beavers are a keystone species, their reintroduction will not only benefit the Beaver population but will also benefit the wetland ecosystems and the flora and fauna - such as Otters, Water Voles and Dragonflies.
Project Category: Nature Reserve
Grant Value: £24,850
Grand Awarded: June 2018
Project Completed: November 2019
*The Landfill Communities Fund is a tax credit scheme enabling operations of landfill sites in England and Northern Ireland to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs). The Veolia Environmental Trust is a qualifying EB and as such is able to use this money to fund community and environmental projects.