Grants for greenery.

Cllr Duncan Hounsell (front, middle left) with the Corston Community Orchard project steering group and Corston parish councillors at the orchard site

Greater biodiversity and new habitats in Bath and North East Somerset are set to be encouraged by three green community projects in Clutton, Freshford, and Corston that have won new funding.

A fourth project to enhance the village of Chelwood has also won a grant with a replacement bench and repairs to the community noticeboard to be carried out this year.

A community orchard will be established in Corston and will offer a wildlife haven in which people can enjoy nature, with the resulting fruit to be shared by the community.

Freshford will also benefit from a new orchard and copse, while in Clutton there will be two new wildflower meadows and tree planting.

The four projects are the first to successfully bid for a grant to enhance their local area from Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Ward Councillor Empowerment Fund 2021/22.

Each year, the council provides each of its ward councillors with £1,000 to award local grants to projects that address concerns or needs of a local area.

The fund supports voluntary and community organisations, parish and town councils and other partners to help meet the council’s core priorities – tackling the climate and nature emergency and giving people a bigger say.

This year’s fund opened on April 1 and will remain open until January 31, 2022. Further details can be found here 

The amounts awarded to the four projects are as follows:

  • Councillor Duncan Hounsell (Saltford) awarded £1,000 to Corston Parish Council towards the Corston Community Orchard including for a habitat and archaeological survey, trees, equipment, tools and outdoor furniture
  • Councillor Neil Butters (Bathavon South) awarded £200 to The Friends of Freshford Association for a series of projects that will enhance habitats and biodiversity on the village green, known as The Tyning
  • Councillor Sally Davis (Clutton & Farmborough), awarded £350 to Clutton Parish Council for the Clutton Play Park and Station Park nature improvements including two wildflower meadows, new spring bulbs, hedges and trees; and £350 to Chelwood Parish Council for the replacement of a bench in the village and repairs to the noticeboard at the Chelwood residents’ amenity

Councillor Richard Samuel, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources & Economic Development, said: “These are fantastic community initiatives that will make a tangible difference to improving people’s neighbourhoods, as well as benefitting the ecology of the area. Supporting local priorities like these helps to give people a bigger say in their communities and help tackle the climate and nature emergency.”

Applications to the Ward Councillor Empowerment Fund need to be for at least £200, must be submitted by ward councillors and must demonstrate that there is support from their local community and/or local parish councils.

Councillor Duncan Hounsell said: “As Saltford ward councillor, I am delighted to give my ward development grant to the Corston Community Orchard project. This exciting project combines heritage, bio-diversity, sustainable living, and community engagement.”

Councillor Neil Butters said: “I’m delighted to support such projects which will encourage people to enjoy and take a greater interest in green open spaces.”

Councillor Sally Davis said: “I’m delighted to be able to support the Clutton Climate & Nature Emergency Working group whose nature proposal came from residents recognising they had areas which could be improved and would reflect their aims. I am also pleased to respond to needs identified by Chelwood Parish Council for their residents.”

Ward councillor contact details can be found on the council website here