Partnership with Wessex Water boosts environmental projects

More than £19,000 has been awarded to 15 projects that will protect and improve the environment in communities across the county, thanks to our partnership with Wessex Water.

The Wessex Water Environment Fund, now in its third round of grants, aims to support grassroots groups and charities with projects that improve local biodiversity or have a positive impact on the local environment for local people.

The funding has gone to a range of green initiatives that will not only help nature flourish but also bring communities together. Among the projects funded is £1,500 to Pewsey Parish Council and Pewsey Avon River Restoration to restore native plants to the chalk stream running through the village. Community planting will help restore its biodiversity and create food and habitats for fish, mammals and birds.

Youth charity Rise:61 in Salisbury will use its £1,500 grant to create a sensory garden and composting area at the community garden its volunteers have reclaimed from a bramble-strewn waste ground at the Bemerton Heath housing estate.

Sustainable Sherston has been awarded £1,000 to buy juicing equipment to press and bottle apple juice from local gardens as part of the village’s annual Apple Day. The event is aimed at reducing food waste and encouraging fruit growing.

Kirsty Scarlett, Wessex Water’s head of community engagement, said: “One of the reasons we chose to work with community foundations including Wiltshire is that they have close links to the sector and they are able to attract good quality applications that meet our goals.

“Because they have a tried and trusted application and assessment process that uses exterior panels to give the best local advice, we know that our funding is going to be used effectively and provide the greatest impact for local communities.

“Working with community foundations brings us into contact with groups and really committed people who love their environment that we might otherwise not be aware of.”

Commenting on the grants programme our chief executive Fiona Oliver said: “We are thankful once again to Wessex Water for putting its faith in our ability to deliver these grants. We are proud that our expertise and local knowledge is bringing this money into the county to support such a diverse range of projects to increase biodiversity and improve our local environment."

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