NEW wildlife habitats are being created in Worcestershire thanks to a funding programme.

Since January this year, the Natural Networks programme has invited landowners and communities to restore more habitats for nature and wildlife. The programme offers support and funding to help people achieve this.

In just its first year, the Natural Networks programme is already making a positive impact for Worcestershire’s wildlife with over 24 hectares of land and water due to be improved or restored over the next 2 years.

With an overall target of 45 hectares to improve habitats for wildlife by 2021, the programme is well on the way to hitting the target.

Natural Networks is a grant programme offering advice and funding to projects which aim to create and restore habitats for wildlife.

Grants are available between £2,000 and £200,000. Organisations can apply for up to 45 per cent of projects’ costs.

To be eligible for the grant, the sites must have free public access.

Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust are working with communities and landowners to conserve and restore Worcestershire’s natural environment so that everyone can appreciate and enjoy our county’s rich natural landscape.

The programme offers professional biodiversity surveys carried out by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust who will assess sites and make recommendations on how to create or enhance habitats for wildlife.

Cllr Tony Miller, cabinet member for environment, said: “This is such a fantastic programme to help improve our wildlife in Worcestershire. We are already seeing an impact in Worcestershire. Thanks to match funding, we can increase the amount of money we use to develop our natural environments so I would urge any organisation or community to apply.”