A grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund will help ensure that local environmental charity the Greensand Trust survives and is able to continue playing a leading role in the sector in the local area.

The Greensand Trust manages many important sites across the Greensand Ridge and surrounding areas in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, including Rushmere Country Park near Leighton Buzzard and several Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Scheduled Monuments.  It is a lead partner in the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership and has also developed The Working Woodlands Training and Education Centre at Maulden Wood.  Like many similar organisations, it has been a challenge to cope with the double impact of much reduced incomes but significantly greater numbers of people using the great outdoors.

The £249,000 grant is one of the highest awarded so far through the fund, and will cover the costs of adapting sites and visitor centres to new circumstances, providing additional equipment and vehicles, day-to-day staff costs, conservation work and essential repairs to heritage features.

“We are extremely grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this support,” said Peter Smith, Chairman of the Trustees, “it will help us not only survive, but hopefully build and recover strongly. We feel it is a strong endorsement of our work in the area over the past 20 years and will help ensure we can do even more in the next 20”.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as The Greensand Trust during this uncertain time.”

Like The Greensand Trust, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and spans the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.