New funding for woodlands – biodiversity in Berkshire & Oxfordshire

box3In 2014, Network Rail Infrastructure Projects committed to a “measurable net positive contribution towards biodiversity in the UK”. The Greater West Programme pledged to be a pilot project to put this principle into practice by compensating for the unavoidable loss of habitats (mainly young semi-natural woodland and some scrub) that has occurred during the electrification programme.

TOE2 is working with Network Rail around the delivery of No Net Loss (NNL) funding in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.  The funding is to be spent on creating or enhancing similar wildlife habitats in the locality, a process known as biodiversity offsetting.  This is a voluntary commitment by Network Rail, not bound to any planning obligations or client requirements.

Trust for Oxfordshire (TOE2) are looking to create new woodland, provide better links between woodlands, and to enhance existing woodland and scrub mosaic, though other habitats could be considered (ancient woodland is not eligible). They believe this is a great opportunity to make a significant difference for wildlife.  They are particularly interested in supporting landscape scale projects and collaborative working where local organisations come together to create larger projects.

Parish councils, local charities and not-for-profit organisations, local authorities and landowners are all eligible to apply. The programme is to be delivered over a four-year period. Stage 1 applications for outline project proposals can be received at any time

If this of interest to you please visit the TOE2 website (www.trustforoxfordshire.org.uk) for more details of how we intend to operate the funding programme. If you would like to register your interest in the programme, please contact Lynn Parker on admin@trustforoxfordshire.org.uk or 01865 407003.

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