Plans for a project to support biodiversity in Huntingdonshire have moved forward following a successful multi-year £1.35 million bid by Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
Over the last three years, HDC has been investing in nature and experimenting with planting of wildflower areas in parks and open spaces. The project originally started out in one park but has now scaled up to at least one major area in all four of the district's market towns: Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots and Ramsey.
The ambition now is to move onto verges, smaller areas of open spaces and footpaths, as well as broadening the scope to include habitat creation through tree planting and rewilding.
The funding will be used to meet the cost of equipment, seeds, and plants and to acquire – and transfer to local community ownership – redundant or orphaned sites which will allow for a role to be created to engage with landowners, volunteers and developers to roll out similar projects.
Cllr Ryan Fuller, Executive Leader of HDC, said: "We are proud to protect and manage our natural environment every day as the guardian of 1,534 hectares of green space, 42.8 hectares of woodlands and a managed tree canopy of 400 hectares. To date, we have successfully planted pictorial wildflower meadows with an equivalent footprint of five and a half Wembley stadiums, helping to double nature and increase biodiversity. The projects that we will deliver as a result of the grant funding that we have successfully secured will help many different people work together to increase biodiversity and enhance our local environment across the district."