Longer-term funding for biodiversity projects should be available from the landfill tax fund in England according to the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
The Government is consulting on proposed changes to the way the Landfill Communities Fund operates in England. BASC submitted a response to the consultation, which closed today (10 June).
BASC is concerned that efforts to ensure grants allocated from the fund are spent could reduce the scope for long-term funding, which is vital to the success of many biodiversity projects.
The consultation centred on proposed reforms put forward by a working group including HMRC, the Treasury and various environmental and conservation bodies. The Government launched the consultation after becoming concerned that some organisations with allocated grants were not putting the money into projects quickly enough and were sitting on unspent funds.
BASC has funded two conservation projects with money allocated to its Green Shoots conservation programme. The first helped with habitat creation and extension for dormice in Cheshire and the second focussed on protecting and encouraging water vole populations in Dorset.
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: “We are calling on the Government to ensure that any changes to the Landfill Communities Fund continue to provide money for biodiversity projects. In particular, the need for longer-term funding must be a consideration.
“We are concerned that the impact of reforming the fund to reduce unspent funds could have unintended consequences of reducing support for conservation. Conservation projects are often long-term in nature and require funding to be spread over several years.
“Any reform of funding should take account of this.”