News that the Heritage Lottery Fund has granted an award of £24,000 to the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust for their Hardwick Dene Interpreted project has been warmly welcomed by Alex Cunningham, Stockton North’s Labour Member of Parliament.
Hardwick Dene is a piece of quiet countryside in an area of urban bustle that has been saved from development and forms an important site for local wildlife, with the old meadows, hedgerows and woodlands providing an abundance of food throughout the summer months and an ideal habitat for nesting birds and other wildlife.
The grant will enable 36 young people from schools across the constituency to engage actively with the project and work towards a John Muir award, carrying out practical conservation tasks to manage areas for wildlife and wildflowers while improving access for local people.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, with around £375 million a year to invest in new projects that help sustain and transform a range of heritage projects with a lasting impact on people and places.
“I am delighted that important projects across the constituency are continuing to receive crucial funding in these hard times to achieve their goals.
“And I was particularly pleased to hear that, as part of the Hardwick Dene Interpreted project, young people from across the constituency will be given the opportunity to get involved in the hands-on elements of caring for their area.
“Open spaces and green areas such as Hardwick Dene are of great importance to our communities, not to mention the flora and fauna that thrive in these surroundings. And the opportunity for young people to work towards the John Muir award will allow them to develop an understanding of this importance while gaining experience of the important conservation activities that will safeguard their availability for generations to come.
“I hope that the enormous benefits resulting from investments such as those from the Heritage Lottery Fund will continue to be fully appreciated.”