Chichester Harbour - Charity awarded more than £180,000 for 'ambitious environmental project'

A charity which works to preserve and improve Chichester Harbour has received more than £180,000 to help it complete an 'ambitious environmental project'.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Monday, 9th August 2021, 12:34 pm

The Friends of Chichester Harbour’s ‘Return of the Tern: Nature Recovery on the Southern Coastal Plain’ has been awarded a grant of £182,300 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.

The nature project, which is the only West Sussex-dedicated initiative to receive the grant, is among 90 across the country to be awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000. The scheme will 'create and retain' more than 1,000 green jobs

Described as an 'ambitious environmental project', ‘Return of the Tern’ will be undertaken by The Friends of Chichester Harbour, in partnership with Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

The project will focus on nature recovery along the south coast, stretching from Langstone Harbour and Farlington Marshes to Pagham Harbour and taking in Chichester Harbour, Bracklesham Bay and Medmerry

It will focus on nature recovery along the south coast, stretching from Langstone Harbour and Farlington Marshes to Pagham Harbour and taking in Chichester Harbour, Bracklesham Bay

and Medmerry.

"It will also head inland along wildlife corridors — west and east of Chichester — up to the foot of the South Downs," a charity spokesperson said.

"Undertakings will include the placement of nine new tern rafts with remote-operated CCTV cameras at strategic harbour points, conducting a small fish survey, the reshingling of

Stakes Island (at the entrance to the Thorney Channel) and Ella Nore Spit (near West Wittering) and the appointment of a nature recovery officer."

Oliver Chipperfield, trustee of The Friends of Chichester Harbour, added: "‘We are delighted to have the importance of the ‘Return of the Tern’ project for West Sussex’s south

coast recognised by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and are extremely grateful for this significant funding that will enable our 18-month project to proceed.

"It is an added honour that, of the 90 projects across the country to be championed in this way, ours is the only West Sussex-dedicated initiative to be supported with this much-needed funding.

"Drawing together those who share a love for Chichester Harbour and an eagerness to preserve and improve its unique beauty, the charity is also hugely excited on their behalf for what can now be pursued to further protect the area."

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.

The charity said 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 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 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."

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.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of National Lottery Heritage Fund, 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."

Emma Howard Boyd, chairman of the Environment Agency, said, by supporting jobs from Northumberland to Somerset, the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will 'help deliver a nature positive future'.

She added: "The fund supports young people to develop skills needed to protect nature, build back greener and prepare for climate impacts, like floods and heatwaves."

Natural England chairman Tony Juniper said the 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.

Forestry Commission chairman Sir William Worsley added: "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."