Buglife wins Heritage Lottery Fund support for Thurrock brownfields

5 banded weevil wasp Cerceris quinquefasciata (c) Mike EdwardsBuglife have secured £58,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the exciting Thurrock Stepping Stones project. The project will help protect Thurrock’s nationally important populations of invertebrates and bring people closer to the special wildlife on their doorstep, building on a £31,800 grant from the Veolia North Thames Trust.

Working in partnership with the Essex Wildlife Trust, Buglife will create 16 hectares of brownfield habitat for some of our rarest and most loved invertebrates, including the Shrill carder bee. A wide-ranging programme of habitat enhancements and events such as bug hunts will help the local community to explore the amazing wildlife at Thurrock Thameside Nature Park and Chafford Gorges Nature Park.

Jamie Robins, Buglife Project Officer said “Thurrock’s industrial heritage has left a legacy of brownfields which are incredibly valuable for rare and endangered bugs. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, we’ll be able to work with the Essex Wildlife Trust to make sure these former landfills and quarries remain havens for wildlife and the community”.Wildlife-rich former sand pit in Thurrock (c) Jamie Robins

Jamie said “There will be many opportunities to become involved with the project such as attending a wildlife walk, training workshop, or assisting with habitat management and surveys.”

Kate Brown, Development Office at the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “We are delighted to support this project which will improve and maintain Thurrock’s brownfield heritage and diversity. This project will offer local communities the opportunity to learn about this natural heritage through a range of interesting events. We take a broad view of heritage, so any local groups with project ideas should get in touch.”

Posted by Lauren Oliver

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