Endangered butterflies across the South Downs National Park have received early Christmas presents thanks to funding awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) by SITA Trust and The Veolia Environmental Trust to support improvements to rare chalk grassland vital for their survival.
The SITA Trust have given £85,000 to improve chalk grassland on the South Downs near Worthing, where a few colonies of the very rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly can still be found. This work is part of South Downs Way Ahead, a £3 million project to safeguard and enhance endangered chalk downland along the South Downs Way National Trail, led by the South Downs National Park Authority.
Meanwhile work on a separate project has also begun near Saddlescombe Farm, Brighton which will support species such as the small blue, chalkhill blue and the brown argus butterflies thanks to a grant of £40,000 awarded by The Veolia Environmental Trust.
Emily Brennan, who leads on Biodiversity for the South Downs National Park, said:
“Chalk grassland is one of the most endangered habitats in the country and vital to the survival of rare wildlife such as the chalkhill blue, brown argus and the Duke of Burgundy butterflies. Thanks to this funding and the hard work of our volunteers we are now joining up and improving habitats across the South Downs so we can all see the butterflies thriving here in years to come.
“The benefits of this work will be seen much further too. Chalk downland is also key relied on by more than a million people to provide clean drinking water and tens of millions of people as a valuable green space.”
Neil Hulme, from Butterfly Conservation, a partner in the project, said;
“There are now fewer than 100 colonies of Duke of Burgundy left in the UK, most of which are very small and vulnerable. On the peak days of the flight season less than 5000 butterflies will be on the wing, and in most years numbers will be smaller. In insect terms these numbers are extremely low and there is little doubt that only focussed and determined efforts to conserve this species will ensure its longer term future.”
Jools Granville of SITA Trust said:
“We’re delighted to be able to offer this crucial funding to help these rare species thrive in the South Downs area. The Landfill Communities Funding we distribute enriches nature and enhances community life. Our fund has enables thousands of projects to take place that make a real difference to communities across the UK – the two projects undertaken in this area are no exception – bringing people and nature together for the benefit of all.”
Speaking about the start of the work, the Veolia Environmental Trust’s Executive Director, McNabb Laurie, said:
“The Trust works to support community and environmental projects across the UK and it is always great to hear about the start of one we are helping.
“This work will have a wide range of benefits to the local area and its biodiversity and it is excellent to see that there is a strong emphasis on volunteers undertaking some of the work. I look forward to hearing about the scheme’s progress.”
For over 15 years the LCF has enabled waste companies to support community and environmental projects across the UK by donating part of their landfill-tax bill to independent trusts such as SITA Trust and The Veolia Environmental Trust. Funding is available for projects that enhance communities and enrich nature.
The South Downs Way Ahead Nature Improvement Area was awarded £608,000 in February 2012 to trail blaze a new Government’s scheme to protect habitats and the economic and social benefits they bring. The project brings farmers, conservationists, NGOs, community groups, local authorities, research organisations and water companies together to join up existing areas of pristine chalk downland along the famous South Downs Way National Trail.
The Landfill Communities Fund
Landfill tax was introduced in 1996 to encourage more sustainable ways of managing waste.
Under the LCF, landfill site operators can donate a percentage, currently 5.6%, of their landfill tax payment to community and environmental projects.
Since it was established, more than 36,600 projects across the UK have been completed after they have accessed a total of over £1bn through the LCF.
The LCF is independently regulated on behalf of HM Government’s Revenue & Customs by ENTRUST.
SITA Trust is an independent funding body set up in 1997 to provide funding through the LCF. To date SITA Trust has supported more than 3000 projects to a combined value of over £92 million.
SITA Trust receives its funding through HM Government’s LCF. Funding is donated by SITA UK, one of the nation’s leading recycling and resource management companies.
Enhancing Communities - SITA Trust funding enhances communities in England, Scotland and Wales by supporting community driven projects to improve vital public recreation facilities such as village halls, community centres, sport, heritage, green spaces and play areas.
Enriching Nature - SITA Trust funding enriches nature by supporting biodiversity conservation projects in England and Wales.
The Veolia Environmental Trust
Since we were established in 1997, Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc has supported us by contributions of over £50 million to 1450 projects. We have helped fund a diverse range of projects, including the repair of woodland footpaths, the renovation of community halls and the installation of playgrounds and play areas. For more information, or to find out how to apply for funding, visit our website www.veoliatrust.org.
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