Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) Original Grant Programme
The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) Original Grant Programme has been announced for community groups and other charitable or non-profit organisations throughout Oxfordshire. TOE aims to support the delivery of a range of local and strategic projects which will deliver against the county’s priorities for increased sustainability and the emerging Nature Recovery Network.
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Early Grant Information for NGOs
In 2015 OCC produced a Strategic Environmental Economic Investment Plan (SEEIP) which outlined the following priorities;
Growing the green economy in Oxfordshire, including farming, forestry, low carbon energy, and environmental research and services.
Promoting and enabling access to Oxfordshire’s countryside, the River Thames and its tributaries, wildlife and heritage assets to attract and benefit residents, businesses and visitors.
Improving management of land in the Thames River Basin catchment for example to reduce flood risk, enhance water resources, and promote biodiversity.
Improving the setting of new and existing development and heritage assets by investing in strategic green infrastructure, including public open space, habitats, sustainable drainage systems, and walking and cycling connections.
Engaging people in their environment and encouraging more sustainable lifestyles.
Areas of Support
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Biodiversity – projects that create protect and enhance natural habitats, allowing wildlife to thrive and supporting nature’s recovery; and/or projects that improve the quality, quantity and coverage of voluntary species recording.
Access – projects that improve public access to green spaces and the countryside, helping people connect with nature.
Low Carbon – projects that lock-up carbon, such as tree planting, or innovative sustainability projects that help reduce carbon emissions in the first place.
Grants of up to £10,000 can be used to deliver projects that support at least one of the areas of support.
Biodiversity: Eligible biodiversity projects should:
Improve the overall biodiversity of habitats including woodlands, ponds, rivers, meadows, green spaces and the wider countryside.
Improve breeding or habitat conditions for particular species, e.g. planting nectar rich plants for bumblebees.
Expand the biodiversity resource within the 36 Conservation Target Areas (CTAs).
Improve the quality, quantity and/or coverage of voluntary species recording in Oxfordshire and Berkshire (funded by TVERC).
Further information on CTA’s and NERC Act S41 Habitats of Principal Importance (previously called BAP priority habitats and species) is available from Wild Oxfordshire. Guidelines on landscape character and biodiversity down to the Parish level can be found at The Oxfordshire Wildlife and Landscape Study (OWLS). Further information on Conservation Target Areas (CTAs), Biodiversity Opportunity Areas and BAP priority habitats and species is available from Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre & Oxfordshire County Council.
If your project is primarily involves habitat creation and enhancement, you may want to apply for funding through their Biodiversity Net Gain programme.
Access: TOE supports projects which improve local green spaces and the accessibility and quality of the rights of way network, including:
Creating new links, circular routes and traffic-free routes.
Replacing stiles with gates.
Improving path surfaces, signs and route-marking.
Promoting the wider use of the countryside and green spaces, and linking with local facilities.
Interpretation and education.
Improving biodiversity of urban green spaces.
TOE supports projects which improve access to local sites near where people live as well as the wider countryside and strategic routes. They also welcome projects which fit within Oxfordshire County Council’s (OCC) Rights of Way Management Plan (RoWMP) 2015-2025. The OCC Countryside Access Team is always happy to offer support and advice to local communities wishing to make their area easier and safer to explore on foot, by bicycle and on horseback.
Low Carbon: TOE wishes to promote existing imaginative and effective schemes and help to inspire more local communities to get involved with making better use of resources and reducing their carbon footprint. Examples that TOE might support include:
Natural climate solutions through habitat creation and better habitat management.
Production of wood fuel through managing local woods for biodiversity.
Encourage the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste.
Improve water efficiency.
Encourage and promote more sustainable transport options.
Promote, produce or distribute local food and reduce food miles.
Please note, they no longer fund energy efficiency projects in community buildings.
Location of Projects
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TOE’s priority is to support projects located in Oxfordshire, but consideration can be given to projects which straddle county boundaries or which benefit communities in Oxfordshire and its immediate neighbourhood.
TOE is keen to see its funds distributed across the county; we are unlikely to support several projects within one community. Projects to be funded with landfill tax credits must be less than 10 miles from a registered landfill site.
TOE can fund not for profit organisations including voluntary groups, Parish Councils, charities and Community Interest Companies.
Local Authorities such as County and District Councils may also apply for grants, but TOE generally prefers applications to be submitted by local community groups or charities.
For more information, visit https://www.trustforoxfordshire.org.uk/main-fund