Wildlife grants for waterways work

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COMMUNITY wildlife projects around South Yorkshire can benefit from a share of £25 million being made available by the Government.

The cash pot is being made available for schemes that ‘clean up England’s rivers and encourage local wildlife to flourish’.

Environment minister Richard Benyon said: “Rivers and lakes are a vital, and much-loved, part of the English countryside and I want to ensure they remain that way.

“The £28 million fund will help communities and charities interested in doing just that and I hope it will lead to us soon celebrating the same sort of success for other treasured wildlife, such as water voles, kingfishers and salmon.”

Community groups and charities can apply for a share of the Catchment Restoration Fund to clean up their local rivers by tackling pollution, restoring wildlife habitats and enabling fish to migrate.

The Environment Agency will be responsible for running the fund over the next three years and will ensure money is given to local groups who can make a real difference.

Major work has already taken place to improve rivers and waterways in South Yorkshire, such as the River Don in Sheffield.

The river was blighted by problems ranging from industrial pollution and fly-tipping, but fish and species of wildlife are now making a return.

Bids to the Government’s fund must be made by Wednesday, February 29.

■ For details on how to apply, visit www.defra.gov.uk/environment