High Weald Nature and Community Fund

Welcome to the High Weald Nature and Community Fund – the new name for the Sussex Lund grant programme.

The High Weald Nature and Community Fund supports work that benefits nature and people across the High Weald National Landscape, including the villages and towns in and around it.

These include Heathfield, Crowborough, Battle, Horsham, Crawley, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Uckfield, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Tenterden, Rye and Hastings.

We welcome applications from non-profit organisations such as public bodies, charities, community groups, schools and churches. Private landowners and land managers may apply if their proposed work provides a clear, direct public benefit.

Grants range from £500 up to £20,000, with larger amounts available for large-scale, multi-year projects.

The Fund is managed by the High Weald National Landscape Partnership and funded by Lund Trust.

The deadline for applications is Monday 15 July 2024.

Please read the guidance below, then use our simple online form to register your interest – a member of the High Weald team will be in touch to chat through your project and arrange an advisory visit if necessary.

Over £1million

Lund Trust funding awarded to more than 200 conservation projects in the High Weald since 2017.

Join our webinar – Tuesday 28 May, 5pm

Join Gerry Sherwin, Business Manager with the High Weald National Landscape team, for an informal webinar covering:

  • The High Weald Nature and Community Fund grant application process;
  • Assessment criteria, including how the programme differs from Sussex Lund; and
  • The type of projects that could be funded.

Aims and example projects

The High Weald Nature and Community Fund has four main criteria, and your application must meet at least one of them. It aims to:

  • CREATE new wildlife-friendly green spaces, including community gardens, pocket parks, allotments, community orchards, and school growing spaces, particularly in towns and villages.
  • IMPROVE habitats – and enhance connections between them – by making existing green spaces greener, through initiatives like pond creation, wetland development, hedge and tree planting, species-rich grassland establishment, and installation of bird, bug, and bat boxes. We may also support habitat management/restoration work, such as hedge-laying, coppicing, and invasive species removal if integral to broader conservation efforts, for example, to ‘kick-start’ a new management plan or to ‘reset’ a key habitat.
  • ENGAGE communities in the management of green spaces for nature and food growing, increase volunteer participation in environmental projects, and provide resources and training for community-led conservation efforts.
  • CONNECT individuals to nature who may be disconnected from it, including young people, those with physical or mental health challenges, disabled individuals, and other underrepresented groups, by enabling access to the High Weald landscape.

A group of people doing conservation work outdoors

Get inspired

If you’re looking for project inspiration, you can download grant summaries from previous years below.

In the meantime, watch our videos to learn how funding from Lund Trust has helped transform habitats and recover nature at three locations across the High Weald National Landscape…

Are you a farmer or landowner? You are now eligible to apply for another grant programme as well as the High Weald Nature and Community Fund.

We are now running Defra’s Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, which gives grants of up to £250,000 for projects in England’s National Landscapes (previously AONBs) and National Parks.

We can help you develop projects that recover nature, tackle climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover the landscape and support sustainable farm businesses. Click the button below to learn more and register your interest.

How the High Weald Nature and Community Fund works

When evaluating grant applications, the panel considers:

  • The extent to which your work aligns with one or more of the above aims (Create, Improve, Engage and Connect)
  • The need for our funding and the value for money provided
  • The likelihood of successful project implementation following good practice standards
  • The sustainability and legacy of the project
  • The potential for the project to inspire others.

We welcome applications from non-profit organisations such as public bodies, charities, community groups, schools and churches. Additionally, private landowners and land managers may apply if their proposed work provides a clear, direct public benefit. At a minimum, the work we support must be visible from a road or public right of way.

We offer both small and large grants.

  • Non-profit organisations can apply for up to 100% of the costs of a project.
  • Private landowners/land managers can apply for up to 40% of project costs, potentially up to 80% of costs for projects that provide significant benefits to people and nature.

Small grants

You can apply for between £500 and £20,000. Project completion within three years of grant acceptance.

Large grants

We also make a small number of grants of up to £100,000 for larger-scale work that could achieve greater change. This work is likely to be collaborative. Project completion within five years of grant acceptance

The grants can support capital and revenue costs.

It is important to us that the applications we receive have a good chance of success, so we are here to help you develop your project and submit your application.

Please register your interest in the Fund using the ‘Submit Enquiry’ button at the top of this page. Within two weeks, an adviser from the High Weald National Landscape team will contact you out to discuss your project idea informally. We work alongside other grant programmes and may suggest alternative schemes better suited to your project.

If your project is potentially suitable for a small grant, we will:

  • send you the small grants application form
  • provide advice on submitting a strong application
  • offer a site visit if we think it would be helpful to your project development
  • invite you to events that will help you develop your project and complete the application form.

If your project is potentially suitable for a large grant, we will:

  • ask you to complete an expression of interest form
  • seek ‘in principle’ support from the panel for your project
  • send you the large grants application form
  • offer advice and support with project development
  • provide comment on application drafts.

The panel considers applications once a year. You can submit your application anytime until the programme closes at midnight on Monday 15 July 2024.

The panel will review applications in mid-September, considering project benefits, financial need, implementation likelihood, sustainability, and potential for inspiration. Decision notifications will be sent by the end of September 2024.