Fresh funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to benefit more people and nature in Trent Valley

February 27, 2024 by Jane Ewing

£250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund will enable Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to deliver an exciting new project in the north of the Trent Valley.

Following on from the highly successful Transforming the Trent Valley (TTTV) scheme in East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire, the Trust is now set to focus attention upstream towards the headwaters of the Trent. This partnership project will allow the charity to expand on some of the inspiring work previously carried out in and around Stoke-on-Trent over the last decade.

The Trust has received a grant of £250,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, to work with local partners, community groups and others to better understand how people connect with the river and its tributaries, and uncover their concerns and priorities for this important natural feature. This knowledge will inform proposals for future projects and funding bids that will focus on recreating more natural waterways, along with managing pollution and flood risk.

David Cadman, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Nature Recovery Networks, says: “This project is a really important stepping stone which we hope will bring further long-term funding into a vital landscape. The learning we can gain about the River Trent will help define future projects that will be designed and led by the people who live and work in this area.

“The river has been historically modified with concrete channels and weirs, features which negatively impact both people and wildlife. We are excited about the chance to bring this habitat back for wildlife to thrive.”

The grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund will enable the Trust to lay the foundations for its long-term ambitions to bring real beneficial change to the river for people and wildlife. Supported by the local authorities, Environment Agency and other partners, the Trust will collaborate with local communities to highlight the importance of the River Trent to their local area.

Louise Morris, TTTV Project Manager, said: “The Trent Valley area is one of Staffordshire’s most treasured features. Through this project we hope to make the landscape more accessible to everyone, and encourage communities to learn more about the cultural and natural heritage of the Trent Valley.

“As part of the legacy work of TTTV, the focus will be on engaging communities along the River Trent with their local natural spaces. We’ll work with them to support and develop environmental community action and volunteering opportunities.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “We are delighted to support Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with £250,000 to protect and enhance the local environment. Stoke-on-Trent is one of our first Heritage Places, where we’re working to develop partnerships which unlock possibilities from the heritage on their doorstep. It’s inspiring to see the lasting impact schemes such as Transforming the Trent Valley can have on people and wildlife.”