The grants are part of the Maidstone Borough Council ‘Go Green Go Wild’ initiative which aims to improve biodiversity across Maidstone.
Formally constituted groups with an existing affiliation with a park, open space or community garden in the Maidstone Borough could apply. Funding was considered for wildlife projects, tree planting, biodiversity improvements, clean-up projects, materials, equipment and tools and seeds, bulbs and plants.
Nicola Toulson, Community Partnership Officer for Maidstone Borough Council is co-ordinating the Go Green Go Wild initiative, she said:
“We are delighted so many groups have come forward and applied. These projects will make a real difference to each of the areas.
“The closing date was 9 August and the groups have now been awarded, however we are working towards more funds being made available for similar and larger projects later in the year.”
The council scheme ‘Go Green Go Wild’ is an exciting new project created by the Maidstone Borough Council Parks and Open Spaces team to encourage people to look after the nature on their doorstep.
Anyone interested in helping with Go Green Go Wild projects needs to register their details at the website: Go Green Go Wild.
Photo above: Hollingbourne Meadows Community Group left to right: Malcolm Smith, Ben Williams, Alan Smedley.
Photo above, Friends of South Park: John Wilson, Carol Gupwell, Mary Tomlinson, Graham Tomlinson.
A list of the Eleven groups, what they do and how they intend to use the funding is below:
About the Group:
Intended Purpose of Funding:
Valley Conservation Society Cave Hill Tovil
VCS aim to protect and enhance the valleys of South Maidstone which cover a 29 acre area. This benefits wildlife and residents. They promote a sense of community and ownership whilst improving biodiversity. They run a weekly work party and often include local schools, school leavers and interested novices.
The funding will contribute to training a VCS member to be qualified chainsaw operative. Managing the tree coverage is an important part of conservation as controlling growth can increase diversity, encourage certain species to thrive, whilst controlling the more plentiful varieties.
Hayle Park Nature Reserve
The trustees of Hayle Park Nature Reserve work hard to preserve this area of significant ecological value. They hold work parties every month to maintain the area as well as run public events such as Bat Walks and a Dawn Chorus Walk.
Hand tools for volunteer work parties. Upcoming work includes; Interpretation boards, planting of whips*, installing bug hotel and beetle pyramid with local school.
Vinters Valley Park Trust Weavering ,Grove Green
The Vinters Valley Park Trust are a well-established group that are passionate about managing and improving this nature reserve for both wildlife and residents. They have a weekly maintenance team of volunteers whose tasks include maintaining footpaths, fences and building habitats for wildlife. Throughout the year, they have had Bat Walks, Moth Evenings and numerous school visits.
Funding will contribute to the replacement of hand tools, which are vital to the maintenance of the reserve.
The Hollingbourne Meadows Trust are a commited team whose aim is to protect, preserve and enhance the biodiversity of the surrounding countryside of Hollingbourne.
This grant will be used to replant and create new hedging on and around their new crossing over a waterway, vitally linking two fields.
Friends of South Park
This well-established group of volunteers and park users are committed to working with MBC to maintain and improve the park for the benefit of the local community.
They would like to use the funding to stock the newly renovated pond with pond plants, which will benefit nature and wildlife.
Allington Millennium Trust Allington
Allington Millenium Green is managed by the trust who are a group of volunteers. Their main purpose is to maintain and improve the green so that visitors can enjoy nature and wildlife
Wlidflower areas were created this summer but will need cutting back in the Autumn so that conditions are viable for next year. Funding will be used for the hire of equipment /fuel to complete this.
Marden in Bloom
Marden In Bloom is organised and managed by a committee of volunteers in Marden. They wish to encourage a stronger sense of community and inspire residents to make a difference in their neighbourhood. They wish to enhance their green spaces and improve the environment for wildlife.
The funding will be used to create wildflower areas in a number of areas in the Parish of Marden.
North Loose Residents Association
An important element of the NLRA is to look after the environment for both residents and wildlife. In 2017 NLRA took over the Loose Greenway Project to restore and maintain wildflower edges.
Up until now this work has been completed by hand, but the funding will help buy a cordless strimmer to help maintain the Greenway, as well as replace trees.
Oakwood Park Grammar School
The Lead Teacher of Sustainability at Oakwood Park would like to create a green nature and wildlife area to help inspire staff, students and parents to look after nature and help combat environmental issues.
This grant will kick-start their fund to create the greenspace in which they hope to create a Wildflower area, tree planting and equipment and tools.
Friends Of Bell Lane, Staplehurst
This Friends Of Group manage this nature reserve and wildlife haven in order to protect and conserve local wildlife and habitiats.
They wish to plant mature blackthorn bushes to deter flytipping over the fence in into the reserve. This will also provide shelter for birds and wildlife.
West Farleigh in Bloom
West Farleigh enterered their village for 'In Bloom' for the first time in 2017 and are going from strength to strength. As well as horticultural and aesthetic improvements, the West Farleigh in Bloom Committee wish to include environmental improvements to their project.
There are plans to plant wildflower meadows in sections on West Farleigh village green as well as planting around road signs. As well as creating a small fruit orchard, bulb planting and other plants.
Photo above, Hayle Park Nature Reserve: Cllr Brian Clark, Cllr Paul Wilby, Dennis Usmar, Nicola Toulson, Cllr Derek Mortimer