L-R: Jim Smith (Forestry Commission), Dr Mick Phythian (Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows), James Wood (Derwent Riverside Project), Freya Lovett (The Conservation Volunteers), Iain Peacock (FTPE Environment and Safety Information Manager)
Intercity rail operator First TransPennine Express (FTPE), along with the Forestry Commission, has awarded three Yorkshire community groups £3,200 in funding to help develop local environmental projects. Projects in Skelton Grange (Leeds), Rawcliffe Meadows (York) and Malton were successful in their Green Grants bids.
Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows and York Natural Environment Trust has been given £450 to ‘bring back the barn owl’. The money will be used to construct and erect three barn owl boxes in Rawcliffe Meadows near York. The Trust will work with the Brunswick Organic Nursery, a local work place for people with learning difficulties, to construct the owl boxes.
Dr Mick Phythian from the Friends said: “The barn owl used to be Britain’s most common owl species but is sadly in decline. However a number of visitors have noted that barn owls are visiting Rawcliffe Meadows and we hope that the boxes will let us do our part in conserving the species and allow people to observe barn owls in the wild.”
The projects are three of 17 that will share in more than £26,000 in Green Grants funding this year. The scheme, fully funded by FTPE, supports community-based environmental projects across the rail operator’s network, which runs throughout the North of England and into Scotland. Since the scheme began in 2008 more than 100 projects have shared in almost £190,000 worth of funding.
First TransPennine Express Managing Director Nick Donovan said: “This year we received a record number of applications, which allowed us to support a wide variety of environmental improvement projects across the north. We’re proud of the work we’ve been able to fund over the past eight years with The Green Grants scheme. It’s been a huge success in helping to create a more sustainable environment in our local communities.”
The Forestry Commission (FC) has worked with FTPE to deliver the Green Grants scheme since its inception in 2008. FC Adviser James Anderson-Bickley said this year’s funding will help plant more trees than ever before.
“We are helping community groups plant more than 6,800 trees and protect some of Britain’s rarest and most amazing species including dormice, freshwater pearl mussels and barn owls. Most importantly we are also helping to bring nature and environmental sustainability to our communities.”