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£2.5 Million for Avalon Marshes

Trust Reserve Forms Part of Lottery-Funded Landscape

The Avalon Marshes in Somerset, which include the Trust’s Shapwick Moor reserve, have been awarded £1,772,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This will secure further local income to raise a total of £2.5 million to be invested in landscape, heritage and training projects which celebrate the area’s rich 6,500-year history.

A broad range of landscape projects and activities will reinstate and preserve habitats and archaeological features; create new access paths and bird hides, along with interpretation; provide vocational training and learning opportunities; and numerous community heritage events such as a wetland festival.

The Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership will be employing six people to deliver more than 60 projects, over the next three years, getting under way this summer with archaeological training events and a young volunteers’ scheme, along with a local launch event.

The Landscape Partnership includes the Hawk and Owl Trust, Natural England, the RSPB, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset County Council, English Heritage and the Environment Agency. The partnership links with local communities through a local Avalon Marshes Forum.

Development Manager for the scheme, Alex Sherman, said: “The award of such a substantial grant reflects the global importance of the Avalon Marshes landscape and heritage. As well as showcasing the natural and historic significance of the area the scheme is creating an important chance for local people and organisations to help shape its future.

“It is thanks to the passion, commitment, and cohesion of the partnership, and the many local people and volunteers involved, that we have been successful in bringing this investment to the local area.”

Richard Bellamy, acting Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said:

“Landscapes speak to the heart, inspiring people in all sorts of ways: be it poetry-writing, architectural design or even just the pleasure of looking at a beautiful view. They play a huge role in many of our lives in the South West but sadly, they can often be taken for granted. That is why we at HLF are delighted to be able to support these exciting plans for the Avalon Marshes. This scheme will give people from across the community the opportunity to come together to protect this precious environment around them, protecting wildlife and maintaining our cultural heritage for years to come.”

To find out more about the scheme and what will be happening in the Avalon Marshes, contact Alex Sherman on 01458 860556 or email here.

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