The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) receives grant of £110,200 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

28 Jul 2021 | No. 2021-35

BTO Youth Advisory Panel’s (YAP), Youth leadership putting diversity at the heart of nature’s future project, will use the funding to connect more young people with nature and ultimately, to attract a wider diversity of young people to work in the environmental sector.

90 projects awarded grants to accelerate the implementation of nature-based projects, from new ‘insect pathways’ in our countryside and towns, to tree planting projects in deprived urban areas

Second funding round of Green Recovery Challenge Fund backed by £40 million, with over 1,000 jobs to be created or retained in England

Norfolk-based BTO has been awarded a grant of £110,200 from the second round of Government’s £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery. The funding was awarded for a project designed by BTO’s volunteer Youth Advisory Panel aimed at connecting a wider diversity of young people with nature.

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall, and combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted, contributing towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.

The BTO Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) of 16-25 year-olds is delighted to have succeeded in their Green Recovery Challenge bid, securing £110,200 over 18 months towards their project,Youth leadership putting diversity at the heart of nature’s future.

The youth panel’s vision is of “A diverse, vibrant community of young birders supported by the BTO, with accessible, youth-led opportunities inspiring young people to engage with nature and science”. The aim of the youth engagement programme is to provide resources to educate, engage, empower and nurture our surveyors of the future.

Faye, Vogely, BTO’s Youth Engagement Manager, said, "This is such an exciting opportunity for the work being led by our Youth Advisory Panel. Now we can make our ideas a reality by employing a dedicated staff member to help deliver the project, creating inclusive youth-led events, training, social connections and resources. Our youth panel know that their ideas are taken seriously by the BTO and others and that they are valued for all that they do. The work that has gone into this project so far, and securing this amazing grant is a true testament to their dedication and commitment to making a real difference"

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies  The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.
Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said, “The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors. Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over ,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said, “From wetland restoration, to creating wildlife-rich habitat for bees, it is vital that we value, protect and rebuild our natural heritage. This new funding will not only allow projects to carry out direct conservation which is essential in protecting our biodiversity, but it will increase awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect our future.” 

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said, “By supporting jobs from Northumberland to Somerset, the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will help deliver a nature positive future. The fund supports young people to develop skills needed to protect nature, build back greener and prepare for climate impacts, like floods and heatwaves.”

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said, “Our environmental and conservation charity sector does an incredible job in protecting, improving and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of communities and the economy.”

Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley said, “This funding will help deliver thousands more trees and help us achieve our target of trebling tree planting rates in England by the end of the Parliament. We need to work towards net zero emissions by 2050; to address biodiversity loss; to better connect people with nature; and to create more green jobs in doing so. Trees are central to this and the projects being awarded these grants will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these objectives.”

A full list of awards is available to view at:

Contact Details
Paul Stancliffe
 (BTO Media Manager)
Mobile: 07585 440910
Email: press [at] (subject: News%20release%20enquiry)

Mike Toms (Head of Communications)
Mobile 07850 500791
Email: press [at] (subject: News%20release%20enquiry)

Images are available for use alongside this News Release. These can be downloaded from this link for which you will need to enter the password BTOYAP202135 alternatively, please contact press [at] quoting reference 2021-35

Notes for editors

The Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund
 was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.’

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund - Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.  
BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations.

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