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Natural heritage

We wish to encourage projects that will conserve and enhance the natural heritage of the National Park and promote understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities.

Who can apply?

The Scheme is open to any individual business (including land managers), organisation (excluding publicly funded government agencies), or community or voluntary group, providing that they have the right to undertake the proposals (e.g. for site-based proposals, the applicant must own or manage the land involved or have the landowner’s agreement).

Project proposals from businesses will be considered only where the public benefits can be clearly demonstrated. Eligible agricultural or forestry businesses must be classified as a “small or medium sized enterprise”.

What will the grant pay for?

Grants are available to assist with  payments towards capital works, equipment, labour and/or professional fees required to develop and implement projects that conserve and enhance the natural heritage of the National Park, and/or promote understanding and enjoyment its special qualities. It does not provide on-going management or maintenance payments.

We are inviting projects costing between £500-£20,000. For individual organisations, community or voluntary groups or businesses not involved in agricultural or forestry production, payments may be made up to 100% of the total eligible costs of proposals. Funds, however, are limited, so these amounts are not guaranteed as levels will depend on the number and quality of successful applications.

To comply with the European Commission’s (EC) state aid regulations (Articles 29 of EC Regulation 702/2014), payments direct to an agricultural or forestry producer, or to an individual, community or voluntary group or organisation where the proposals will be implemented on land owned by an agricultural producer, are restricted to the eligible costs and maximum rates of aid outlined in our full Explanatory Notes.

We are encouraging expressions of interest for projects that will:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural heritage of the National Park, in particular: small scale (< 0.25 hectares) native woodland planting to provide biodiversity, landscape and shelter benefits  
  • Applications for native tree planting along field edges, water courses or existing woodland will be favoured.

Previous projects have included small scale, riverside and parkland tree planting.

Remember that:

  • At application stage you must provide evidence that your costs provide good value for money; so for purchases, works or services that cost:
    • £5,000 or less, where value for money can otherwise be demonstrated, at least two quotes is recommended but one quote may be acceptable, at the discretion of the National Park Authority.
    • £5,000 to £10,000 at least three quotes are expected.
    • Greater than £10,000 at least three quotes should be provided and submitted on the basis of a written specification.
  • The National Park Grant will not normally be awarded to a recipient in advance of need, and will not normally be made available until the recipient has spent the funds and claimed reimbursement. However, ‘pre-funding’ (i.e. awarding funds before delivery and expenditure) may be appropriate in the case of voluntary sector bodies as long as they have demonstrated need (i.e. they can show us that they do not have their own funds to deliver the project).

Making an application


Read the guidelines

Please read the guidelines above. Projects that deliver multiple benefits to the National Park will be supported. Priority will be given to projects that meet Outcomes in the National Park Partnership Plan and Priorities set out in your local Community Action Plan (click on the green community action plan box).

Expression of Interest – submissions now closed

We’re keen to see ideas at an early stage, so the first step was to submit an Expression of Interest by Friday, 8 September. We asked you to explain your project and will now assess it against criteria.


We will inform you of the outcome of the Expression of Interest stage by Friday, 22 September 2017. The highest scoring applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed Application. At this stage, you will need to submit a fully worked-up proposal, including quotes for costs or services, by Friday, 20 October 2017. 
If your expression of interest is not successful, we will provide you with feedback.

What happens next?

  • By Friday, 17 November 2017: grant offers sent out
  • By Thursday, 15 March 2018: claims received from private sector/individual applicants
  • By Friday, 30 March 2018: claims paid to private sector/individual applicants
  • By Friday, 15 March 2019: final reports from voluntary sector applicants
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