The groups will receive varying amounts from £350 up to £2000, depending on the needs of the project, the benefits to biodiversity and benefits to the community.
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:
“The Go Wilder Grants are another step in our commitment to improving the biodiversity in Maidstone. It is great to see such a wide variety of projects from across the borough coming forward, all helping to make improvements in their local communities.
“It is wonderful to see how passionate people are about the areas they live in, these grants will help them improve the green spaces and habitats and increase the wildlife and nature around them.”
The council scheme ‘Go Green Go Wild’ is a fantastic 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.
A list of the 16 groups, what they do and how they intend to use the Go Wilder For Maidstone Grant Scheme is below:
Valley Conservation Society
VCS continue to maintain and develop the nature reserve in Loose. This funding awarded by GGGW will enable them to provide the training and equipment needed so that they have the expertise available to conserve the area safely and effectively.
Grant will cover cost of an expert to produce a Management Plan for former tip site at Dean Street, Tovil. This will implement a long-term strategy to enhance biodiversity of the site. Any remaining fund will go towards wildflower seed for Hayle Park nature reserve.
Oakwood Park Grammar
The funds will allow Oakwood Park Grammar's Green Club to continue to develop their nature garden. They will now be able to extend their pond and wildflower areas as well as purchase more trees and materials to build bird/bat boxes and bug hotel.
Boughton Monchelsea Ammenity Trust
Creation of three wildflower meadows on Furfield Park public open space. This will be of benefit to biodiversity and local residents.
Kent Scouts Activity Centre
Kent Scouts Activity Centre is based at Grange Farm in Sandling and has a large amount of Scout Groups as well as other community groups that visit each year. With the help of the GGGW funding they intend to reinstate a disused pond that is currently over grown and full of debris. The new pond will encourage wildlife back to the area and provide an important habitat. It will also provide education opportunities for visitors to the site with pond dipping and bioblitz activities.
Plant and maintain a further 500 native species of tree at the meadows plus 50 further community trees. Creating habitats and contributing to the global issues on environmental change
Bearsted Woodland Trust
The funding will be used to install a wildflower meadow strip at the popular woodland and open space. This will provide nectar for bees and other pollinators as well as be an attractive feature for visitors.
The grant will be used to purchase plant and maintain 1 x mature flowering cherry tree and 1 x mature Rowan, they will be planted on land agreed with Headcorn PC. This will help raise awareness of climate change issues and help benefit the environment.
Medway Valley Elver Project
The Elver Monitoring Project is an important conservation project that MVCP have previously worked with ZSL to deliver. However, it is increasingly difficult to find funding to support the project. The GGGW grant will enable the project to continue again this year. It involves recruiting and training volunteers to complete surveys from April to September, monitoring the evidence of eels at Allington Lock, which is then fed back to ZSL for further analysis and research
*Volunteers need to register with MVCP and Induction will be April 8th 5:30 to 6:30
Friends of Whatman Park
Friends of Whatman Park wish to help improve the biodiversity of the park by planting primulas to provide early nectar for emerging bees, develop the wetland areas with plants to provide a more diverse habitat for birds and create habitat boxes to increase available nesting sites for birds and bats.
Members and volunteers from Loose PC are planning to create three wildflower meadow areas totalling 2800sq m. This will help provide nectar and habitats and improve biodiversity as well as enhance the experience of visiting residents.
Greenfields CP School
Greenfields Community Garden has been set up to engage and educate the children and their families on conservation and healthy living. They have already set up 2 wildflower areas and bug hotels and this funding will enable them to develop this further and build planters to introduce further beneficial species.
Marden in Bloom
Marden in Bloom wish to continue with extending wildflower areas in the village as well as plant bluebells and snowdrops to provide early nectar for pollinators in the coming years. They would also like to use the funding to help involve the local school and children’s centre with sowing seeds to create wildflower patches.
Hollingbourne Parish Council
Hollingbourne PC will be using the awarded funds to improve the Millennium Green. They will replace the old duck house at the recently renewed pond. Included in the improvements will be RSPB bird boxes, four trees and a wildflower area as well as some equipment.
Barming Primary School Gardening Club
Barming Primary School have a well established gardening club who wish to focus on expanding on their wildlife areas. They have plans to refurbish their pond area and provide a dipping platform as well as create a 'Wellbeing through Nature' quiet area. They also want to be able to maintain their bee flower garden, and create a wildflower bank. If possible, they will install hedgehog homes, bird, and bughouses.
The Green Staplehurst group set up by the PC will use the grant to increase planting of wildflowers, trees and shrubs, creating new habitats. They will also buy more tools so that more volunteers can get involved.