Grants for schools and community groups undertaking biodiversity enhancement projects in Tower Hamlets are available from the Tower Hill Trust under the Tower Habitats Biodiversity Grants scheme.
Grants from £100 to £2000 are available to fund biodiversity enhancements by schools and community groups in school grounds, around housing estates or in community gardens. At least 50% of your project must directly contribute to objectives and targets in the Tower Hamlets Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). Educational initiatives to monitor biodiversity in school grounds can also form part of your project. The grant can also be used as match funding for larger projects, but must be spent within 12 months from the award date.
Enhancements which contribute to LBAP targets include:
- Creation/restoration of a pond
- Improving habitats around an existing pond
- Creation of a wildflower meadow
- Enhancing existing grassland with wildflower plugs and/or bulbs
- Planting mixed native hedgerows
- Planting an orchard of fruit trees
- Planting at least three species of native trees
- Installing a hedgehog home (on the Isle of Dogs, Stepney Green area or close to Victoria Park or Cemetery Park)
- Installing features for invertebrates e.g. loggeries, bug houses and habitat walls
- Installing bat boxes and “sparrow terrace” nest boxes
- Planting nectar-rich flowers to provide food for bees for as much of the year as possible
- Planting night-scented flowers to attract moths and provide food for bats
- Growing ivy and other climbers up bare walls or fences
(At least 50% of total cost must be towards things on this list)
Other enhancements which could be funded include:
- Planting native trees and shrubs
- Installing a bird table or feeders
- Installing nest boxes for birds
- Educational initiatives making use of and monitoring biodiversity in school grounds
(Please note – this list is not comprehensive)
Successful applicants will be required to provide a short report on their project for publication on the Tower Habitats website, complete with photos showing the grounds before and after enhancements, and photos of people involved either in helping with the enhancements or using the improvements for environmental education (all photos with children to include written permission to publish on the website), plus receipts for all expenditure. Reports, photos and receipts to be received within 12 months from the date that any grant is paid. Successful applicants must confirm acceptance of these requirements in writing before any grant is paid.
Please note that the average award is likely to be in the region of £1,000; larger grants of up to
£2,000 would be expected to deliver exceptional wildlife benefits.
Applications can be made at any time, but will usually be considered in batches three times per year. The next deadline for applications is Thursday 7 October 2021. Applications received in advance of that date can be considered sooner if there are good reasons for the project to begin before the autumn. Assuming funds remain available, there will be a further deadline on 8 February 2022.
To apply, please e-mail Elaine Crush at the Tower Hill Trust to request an application form, and then return the completed form to Elaine.
If you want to discuss potential projects before applying, please contact the Council’s Biodiversity Officer, John Archer, on 020 7364 7478 or by e-mail to arrange a site visit (when Covid-19 restrictions allow). For queries about eligibility or administration of the grants, please e-mail Elaine Crush.
Some examples of projects funded through the scheme include the Friends of Arnold Circus, Stepney Greencoat School, Chisenhale Primary School, Approach Gardens, Holland Estate Management Board, Tarling West Estate TRA, Stebon School and Malmesbury Residents Association.