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ReNature Fund

Our ReNature fund seeks to support community projects focused on changes in land management that will lead to increasing space for nature.

ReNature funding supports land owners, land managers and community organisations to create new nature sites, and to manage existing sites better for biodiversity. We are looking for projects that will showcase positive management for nature in the community.

Projects could create wildflower meadows, heathland, hedgerow, areas managed as chalk grassland, more natural rivers or dewponds.

Applying for a ReNature Grant

The latest round of funding for ReNature grants is now CLOSED.

Review and shortlisting will take place between December and the end of January with decisions and grant offers being made from mid February 2024.

Please do check back for future rounds or contact the Grants Officer to be added to a notification list.

ReNature funding

Grants between £2,000 and £25,000 will be made by the South Downs National Park Trust (SDNPT) towards capital expenditure. Applications will be judged on their proposed outcomes for biodiversity, value for money and ongoing management of the site as well as community outcomes. A grant panel will decide on applications over £5,000.

Important information about this funding:

  • It will not fund organisational costs, training, transport, work already undertaken, recoverable VAT or costs associated with fulfilling a statutory obligation or planning consent.
  • If funded, you will be asked to submit monitoring information, responsible for maintaining equipment and built items (gates, fences etc.) for a minimum of 5 years, as well as carrying out the actions in your maintenance plan.
  • SDNPT will share information with the SDNP and external partners to monitor the outcomes of your project and publicise the fund.

Who can apply?

Local Authorities, Parish Councils, CICs, charities, and constituted voluntary groups can apply. Applications from commercial partners and private land owners are considered where projects are not-for-profit, however, the proposed benefits for biodiversity and cash/ management contributions will need to be considerable to be prioritised above other groups.

Projects with community benefit are more likely to be successful. The applicant must be the land owner or have the land owner’s permissions to carry out the project and actions in the management plan.

The site

Sites must be within the National Park boundary and should not already be managed for nature (e.g. a SSSI)

Current ReNature projects include Chalk Grassland improvements on a Golf Course, reversion of recreational spaces to wildflower meadows and supporting the transition of an old arable field to grassland.

What will it fund?

You can apply for a combination of natural landscape features (such as trees and ponds), built items (e.g. fencing), equipment and tools where this enables delivery of the outcomes in your application.

For community organisations we will consider grants towards the first year of your management plan where essential to establish the site.

Match funding

Although there is currently no set limit for match funding, projects will be judged based on value for money. See Part 3 of the application form notes for more information.

Wildlife trusts, private land owners or commercial partners are unlikely to be funded over 80% unless a considerable contribution is being made in cash and/or in-kind through labour, equipment and future land management.

Need inspiration?

The following short film illustrates the nature recovery seen at the former Waterhall Golf Course.

ReNature Green Finance Fund

We are also providing seed funding to a selection of projects which are taking a whole farm approach to Nature Recovery.

Our seed funding is supporting landowners to explore options of ReNaturing their land through the sale of Ecosystems services.

Our first two pilots resulted in 97.5 ha recovered for nature and we are now working with Hinton Ampner, West Dean and the Ouse Valley Nature Reserve, to see if we can replicate this work.

Other sources

Green Finance Institute – Investment Readiness Toolkit. The Investment Readiness Toolkit is an online and interactive framework that takes nature-based project developers and enterprises along the eight milestones of a path to ‘Investment Readiness’, providing key considerations and case studies.

Credit Nature – Nature Impact Token. A Nature Impact Token is a digital asset that represents a certified fractional stake in a nature recovery project. Nature Impact Tokens connect investors with like-minded landowners to deliver investable nature recovery project for the benefits of nature, people and business.

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