Fund supports schemes to enhance landscape and habitats

Five projects to enhance the landscape and wildlife habitats to the south-east of Selby have been awarded grants.

Skipwith Common Ponds received a grant to enhance landscapes and habitats.

The money comes from an £8,000 fund set up as a planning obligation in connection with a development by Lytag Ltd at Drax Power Station. The fund is administered by North Yorkshire County Council's Heritage Services team.

The Heritage Services team reopened the fund to new applications at the end of last year after an initial project for a small country park had to be postponed.

Matt O'Neill, Assistant Director, Growth, Planning and Trading Standards, said: "Parishes embraced the scheme and came up with good projects that benefit the landscape and biodiversity of the area, alongside its economic development.

"The Heritage Services team aims to achieve the best results for the natural and cultural environment in connection with development. Where successful, this also helps to make the county more attractive to investors and visitors as well as improving the quality of life for residents.

"In addition, the value of all the projects supported by this fund has been greatly enhanced through contributions by volunteers, additional financial support from other sources, donations of materials and local expertise."

The projects will support the aims of the Local Nature Partnership Selby Priority Area as well as adding to the interest of local landscapes. Some are already complete or under way.

The projects are:

  • Skipwith Common Ponds: The clearance, pond restoration and new pond creation will help to save rare and vulnerable species, including pillwort, the mud pond snail and great crested newt, and will provide amenity and educational benefits. Applicant: Freshwater Habitats Trust supported by the Friends of Skipwith Common and Natural England.
  • Hemingbrough Oldways Enhancement: Scrub clearance and tree planting to improve amenity and access for the community within this site of historic and landscape interest. Applicant: Hemingbrough Historical/Heritage Society.
  • Sharp Hill Lane, Long Drax: Hedgerow planting as part of this developing project on an obsolete section of an old lane. Applicant: Long Drax Parish Council.
  • Barlby Wildflower Meadow: Increase in species diversity and improved management to bring nature conservation, amenity and recreational benefits to a community-run nature reserve. Applicant: Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council.
  • Scott Road Community Centre Pond, Selby: Selective clearance of vegetation, avoiding disturbance to wildlife where possible, will increase the pond's educational and amenity value to local residents, families and schools. Applicant: Selby Community Trust.

This story was published 19 April 2017