ESC Launches New Environmental Grant Scheme

With apparently no sense of the irony  – East Suffolk Council have launched  the ‘Nature First Small Grants Scheme’ on behalf of something called the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum.

A press release from ESC states ‘East Suffolk Council continues to put the environment first as voluntary and community groups are invited to apply for funding to support projects that help promote biodiversity. ‘

Maybe if they stopped allowing greedy developers to swallow up so much of our greenfield sites and AONB  land – they would not need a ‘Greenprint forum’ quango to work on behalf of the  natural environment.

And if they are putting the environment first – with plans to build over great swathes of countryside in Felixstowe, Walton and Trimley – heaven help us if they decide to change policy and put the environment further down the list.

But anyway –according to ESC  –  the aim of the scheme is to support the Council’s ‘environmental vision in building the right environment for East Suffolk by funding projects that contributes to the enhancement of local biodiversity and/or its understanding and appreciation by the local community.’

Eligible projects could include work to restore existing habitats or create to new ones, provision of nesting/roosting places for birds, pollinators and other animals, or activities to help local people of any age learn more about and enjoy their local biodiversity.

Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “This scheme is just another example of how East Suffolk Council puts the environment at the heart of everything it does. Not only are we leading the way with our ‘Pardon the weeds, we’re feeding the bees’ initiative, we’re encouraging and enabling local people to get involved in enhancing and protecting our local environment so that we can all work together to build the right environment for East Suffolk and environmentally sustainable communities.”

The scheme will run over four phases during 2021/22, offering grants of up to £1,000. The first application period is now open until 28 July 2021 and full details, including eligibility and how to apply, can be found at: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/environment/east-suffolk-greenprint-forum/supporting-community-environmental-action/nature-first-small-grants-scheme/

THE EAST SUFFOLK GREENPRINT FORUM

What is it?

The East Suffolk Greenprint Forum is a voluntary network open to all and facilitated by the Council to help deliver their business plan; specifically enabling community environmental action to improve lives and strengthen the economy.

It aspires to improve the quality of life in the district while reducing the impact on the environment

Whilst the focus is on East Suffolk, anyone, anywhere can join for free to help inform and learn from their thinking. They have one part time staff member (working two days a week) and a steering group of 10, who give of their knowledge while being active in their own communities and organisations. All other effort is voluntary and/or requires funding.

The Vision

By 2030 they would like to see significant progress in East Suffolk in each of the following areas:

  • Active travel – Walking and cycling are improving our physical and mental health and enhancing quality of life and the environment. Low emissions travel dominates.
  • Eco-friendly development – Designed to limit environmental harm, meet changing needs of occupants, cope with changes to the climate and feel part of the wider natural environment.
  • Energy generating homes – Existing buildings are retrofitted to be part of a smart energy system, they are net generators with very little under occupancy.
  • Environmentally beneficial employment – Decent work and an economy that works for all. Organisations recognise local sense of place and how a healthy environment benefits employers and employees.
  • Healthy humanity – People are connected with their community and supported by functioning education and care systems which are free at point of use.
  • Nature first – Nature’s value is recognised by the majority, visitors are attracted because of it and everyone actively cares for it.
  • Pollution free environment – Use of plastics is tightly controlled and everyone takes responsibility to reduce the impact of their activities on the environment.
  • Quality food – People can access good quality, healthy, tasty food. Food that is grown and farmed in ways that minimise negative impacts and maximise positive impacts on natural resources.
  • Upcycling culture – People are borrowing, repairing, reusing and buying wisely to limit environmental harm. Products are designed to circular economy principles. 

For more information about the Greenprint Forum, go to www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/environment/east-suffolk-greenprint-forum/.

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