Latest News | 26 February 2024

Park rewilding project receives £1.1m boost

University of Derby
Derby City Council
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
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A project involving Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Derby City Council and the University of Derby to rewild Allestree Park has been given a £1.1 million boost.

Now entering its third year of rewilding, the project is the largest urban rewilding project in the UK.

It aims to support the delivery of an even more beautiful and accessible place for people of Derby and surrounding areas to visit, where wildlife will flourish even more, and species will return.

Now, the trust has secured £1.1 million in funding over three years from The National Lottery Community Fund.

The Community Rewilding of Allestree Park hopes to inspire people, communities and businesses right across the city and Derbyshire to rewild their own spaces and take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint.

The National Lottery money will be used to deliver community and nature benefits in Allestree Park and across Derby.

Lisa Witham, director of Wilder Communities at the trust, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have secured this incredible amount of funding to support the community’s vision for Allestree Park and are grateful to National Lottery Climate Action Fund for recognising the value of this project and what it aims to achieve for nature and people.

“The fund will allow us to provide natural outdoor engagement spaces, deliver Nature Tots activities on site to encourage pre-school children to connect with nature, set up Junior Rangers sessions for young people who are interested in conservation, and work with local schools to improve their own outdoor spaces.

“It will also go towards implementing some of the other ideas people have suggested such as improving multi-user access and inclusion on site with accessible benches, improved interpretation and signage, and the delivery of self-led and organised outdoor activities for people to take part in, which we know from research will benefit their mental and physical wellbeing through a connectedness to nature.”

Dr Jo Smith, chief executive at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said: “You only have to visit and take a stroll through Allestree Park to understand that it is a calm and natural space where people can enjoy nature and be happy.

“The changes to the landscape since the project began are incredibly beautiful, with exciting things happening with every changing season.”

Councillor Carmel Swan, the city council’s cabinet member for climate change, transport and sustainability, said: “The power of partnership, such as ours with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, lies in unlocking funding opportunities beyond the reach of the council alone.

“I’m thrilled that through this collaboration, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has secured £1.1 million in funding.

“This significant investment will advance our community rewilding project, ensuring lasting environmental benefits and enhancing biodiversity for future generations.”

To find out more about the rewilding of Allestree Park visit .

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