On the Verge and Trees for Seaford, are delighted to be celebrating the award of National Lottery funding to OVCA (Ouse Valley Climate Action)
In the bid OVCA had “..an ambitious goal of empowering local people to help create one of the first communities in England to fully embrace climate change”
This is fantastic news for the communities in the Lewes district, which will facilitate positive action to offset the effects of climate change, which include flooding, storm damage, coastal erosion and biodiversity loss.
Our two projects particularly address the loss of biodiversity, which can only be tackled by planting more trees and hedgerows and encouraging more wildlife from insects to mammals into our green spaces.
These vital green corridors include verges, gardens, green parks, community growing projects and local nature reserves. Planting schemes can capture more carbon and soak up groundwater that can otherwise overwhelm sewage systems, as well as providing shade and cooling in a hotter climate. Encouraging food growing and sharing projects reduce the food miles and waste, and gardening projects have positive impact on wellbeing and bring communities together.
Our two projects have already benefited hugely from the initial grant funding. On the Verge have spent funds on tools and equipment and plants and seeds planted in school projects and in public green spaces. We have delivered a range of events, ranging from a fantastic talk by insect expert Dave Goulson, to workshops, zoom meetings, roadshows and flower surveys. Our grant paid for events equipment including tables, banners and promotional materials and stands, so that we can get out into the community to spread the word more in the months to come. Amongst other things, Trees for Seaford was able to pay for vital training and equipment, to enable our volunteers to work safely on roads.
It’s vital to record the wildflowers and wildlife in the town so we can measure the biodiversity changes, and the new funding award will pay for training for volunteers, consultancy and software that will culminate in a fantastic mapping project to comprehensively record the biodiversity in our town. As well as helping to pay for wildflower seeds and bulbs, hedgerow plants and trees, the funding will help our groups with training, equipment and ways to reach out to the wider community.
We are well aware however that we are not the only groups or individuals in Seaford who are passionate about bringing nature back to Seaford, and educating and empowering residents about nature, climate action and sustainable living.
Working together makes us stronger! That is why we spent the last of our lottery funding, and a lot of volunteer time on a new website and newsletter for all groups and individuals to be able to use to spread the word about biodiversity, and the groups embracing climate change.
The first phase of the “Renaturing Seaford” website has now been launched, and ongoing funding secured. Websites are only as good as their content and we now encourage groups and individuals in Seaford to get involved. The website can be used to share news about biodiversity projects, and hopefully help groups to find funding, volunteers and ideas, ultimately making the groups more sustainable and successful.
One thing is sure, the biggest winner will be our wildlife. From the grasshoppers and butterflies abundant in the Pump field, the orchids that popped up in various places this year, meadows appearing in our verges, swifts coming back to our skies, dragonflies and amphibians creeping back to the dew pond near South Barn… Well done all of you! It’s a great start but there is so much more to do.
On the Verge and Trees for Seaford