Projects ranging from enhancing wildlife habitats to restoring phone boxes have benefited from a fund set up as part of the development of the Allerton Waste Recovery Park (AWRP) near Knaresborough.
Since the Landscape and Cultural Heritage Fund was launched five years ago, 92 awards with a total value of more than £740,000 have been made to community projects.
The funding has helped to improve landscapes and increase biodiversity, with kilometres of hedgerow planted or repaired and thousands of trees planted. Ponds, wildlife areas and outdoor education spaces have been created. Funding has also gone towards refurbishing telephone boxes and a war memorial, information boards and church projects, as well as the creation or repair of 2.2km of pathways.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Derek Bastiman, Executive Member for waste management, said: “The projects supported by the Allerton Park Landscape and Cultural Heritage fund provide a lasting benefit to this area. They encourage wildlife and increase biodiversity, restore and enhance features of local cultural heritage to be handed to the next generation and allow the young to learn about the world around them.
“Many volunteers have been involved and I thank the local communities for undertaking all these projects. I also thank members of the community that supported the decision making process, attending panel meetings to provide local insight and enabling grant awards to maximise the benefit of this fund to provide a lasting legacy.”
Here is just a handful of the projects to receive funding.
- Arkendale and Coneythorpe Parish Council undertook extensive tree planting in the parish and improved the area around the Mar for wildlife and the community. The parish council reported: “The difference is significant and already the increase and increased diversity in bird life especially is obvious. The other significant difference is the impact on the visual character of the area. The Mar was a dilapidated and sorry looking water body. Now it looks fantastic and not only attracts wildlife but also people from the village who walk to it or walk through it, especially when out with their dogs.”
- The Whixley Heritage project received funding towards a heritage project to both restore significant stained glass windows in the church and to research and tell the story of Whixley. This project involved many local people, young and old, and now forms a display in the church.
- Phone boxes at Goldsborough and Staveley have been refurbished and now house defibrillators.
- Boroughbridge High School sits just outside the fund area, but its catchment area includes pupils from primary schools within the area. Space that has been created following clearing of the pond to encourage more wildlife. The school has installed a wildlife camera to capture what is happening when the children are not there. A teacher at Boroughbridge High School said: “The area looks amazing and is being used weekly now. In fact, I can’t keep them out of it, which is great.” To support outdoor learning further, all local schoolchildren were offered a voucher for a free bird box or bug hotel to install at home.
Two Ridings Community Foundation (TRCF) managed the distribution of the fund on behalf of ourselves. The fund has now ended and the final report produced by TRCF can be read here.