Conservation projects not spending fast enough

The Landfill Communities Fund could be altering how it allocates funding as the government is considering new proposals for change, which could threaten biodiversity projects.

The consultation, which closed yesterday (10 June), centred on proposed reforms submitted by HMRC, the Treasury and various environmental and conservation bodies. Due to concerns that some organisations with allotted grants were not using the funds for projects quickly enough, the government launched the consultation to re-evaluate spending.

Image credit: Peter Trimming

Water vole and dormice have already benefited from the Landfill Communities Fund via BASC’s Green Shoots. Image credit: Peter Trimming

BASC has spoken up for biodiversity, however, stating that many projects depend on long-term funding and that proposals for change to the LCF would “reduce the scope” for spending of that kind. Two long-term conservation projects have already been funded by money allocated to BASC’s Green Shoots scheme. The first, habitat creation and extension for dormice in Cheshire, and the second, encouraging water vole populations in Dorset.

Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: “We are concerned that the impact of reforming the fund to reduce unspent funds could have unintended consequences of reducing support for conservation. Conservation projects are often long-term in nature and require funding to be spread over several years.”

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