Urban oasis for wildlife plan after Sheffield teams win £40,000 grants

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A nature reserve will be restored into an urban oasis for wildlife thanks to a major funding boost.

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust is to receive £36,077 to restore Woodhouse Washland nature reserve for animals, particularly the peewit, a farmland bird which was once commonly seen but is now globally threatened after significant decline due to changing farmland practices.

The Veolia Environmental Trust has also awarded Meadowhead Christian Fellowship £4,215 to replace shutters at its base in the Jordanthorpe Centre, making the facility more attractive and secure.

Chris Grice, fundraising officer from the wildlife trust, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant, which means we can push forward with our project to help this struggling bird make a comeback. “The project will also provide training and volunteering opportunities for local people, and it will enhance the reserve for its visitors.”

The nature reserve project will also include managing the meadows, wetland and hedgerows to create nesting havens.

Work is to begin on the scheme, as well as the second with Meadowhead Christian Fellowship, as soon as possible once start dates have been confirmed.

Steve Bodey, from the fellowship, said: “Replacing our shutters will benefit the various groups that run events at our building as it will enable more people to open the building safely.

“It will also enhance the building’s appearance in line with neighbouring premises.”

The grants are two of 27 that Veolia’s trust has awarded to community and environmental projects, with a grant total of over £875,000. Grants are awarded through the landfill communities fund and since 1997 there has been more than £3.9m given to 121 projects in South Yorkshire.

Paul Taylor, executive director of the trust, said: “The Wildlife Trust and Meadowhead Christian Fellowship need to be congratulated on securing their grants in the face of stiff competition from a large number of other applicants.

“Their projects will make a real difference to the community of Sheffield and its wildlife, and we look forward to seeing work start.”