Government launches multi-million pound fund to restore wildlife-rich habitats

A countryside landscape at sunset

BASC is urging members to move quickly to express their interest in the Species Survival Fund for habitat work in England.

As promised in the government’s 2023 Environmental Improvement Plan, Defra has announced the Species Survival Fund. The fund runs through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and has a total budget of £25 million. 

The new funding will support landscape-scale projects which tackle habitat loss, safeguard ecosystems and create nature-rich landscapes, providing wildlife-friendly habitats such as grasslands, woodlands and wetlands.

Initial timings are tight with expressions of interest needing to be submitted by 24 July 2023, and full applications submitted by October 2023. 

The fund is open to individuals as well as organisations, with the criteria that you must be intending to create or restore habitats, and can complete the work within two years. 

The fund is a potential lifeline for project creation that does not readily fit into existing schemes like the England Woodland Creation Offer

Launching the Fund, Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said: “Through the Species Survival Fund, we will fund taking targeted actions needed to restore our habitats and the species that live in them. Across the country, local nature recovery strategies will enhance wildlife habitats that reflect the wonderful tapestry of nature that exists on our isles.”

Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity, said: “Shoots and shooting estates are regularly part of projects that deliver improvements in habitat condition or straight forward creation at scale. If you have a project on the shelf ready for funding this is ideal, but it also could be the spur to get a new project drafted and submitted.” 

If you have project in mind and would like advice or to discuss it with us, please contact BASC’s conservation team