The Woodland Trust have been given “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to purchase and restore 334 hectares (825 acres) of woodland in the stunning northern fringes of Dartmoor National Park, Devon. They urgently need to raise £5 million to save this amazing site to stop more of Devon's precious ancient woodland could be lost forever. For more details and how to make a donation go to

The Forestry Commission have announced the last funding round for Big Tree Plant - organisations have until 30 August 2013 to apply.

The Big Tree Plant encourages people and communities to plant more trees in England’s towns, cities and neighbourhoods. So far, the campaign has committed to plant almost 965,000 trees with around 475,000 already planted. An extra 35,000 are needed from this final round in order to hit the one million target.

Funding is available to any community and voluntary group, or other non-profit organisations that are keen to establish a community-led tree planting projects. Groups working in deprived areas where trees would help to improve residents’ quality of life are strongly encouraged to apply. The tree planting needs to be completed by end of February 2015.

The advice phone line is 0800 856 7984. More information is also available at

Local Works are looking for ideas that may be developed as proposals under the Sustainable Communities Act. For those of you not aware of the Act and its role - The Sustainable Communities Act allows communities and councils to work together to reverse community decline. It is based on three principles:
1. Community decline is a significant national problem, not just confined to certain local areas.
2. The scale of the problem is too big for people to solve on their own - government must help.
3. But local people know best what is needed for their area - so they should determine what government does to help them.

The Act sets up a process where, if councils choose to use the Act by submitting proposals, they must first involve communities and citizens in their area. They must not just consult them, but also try to reach agreement with them on what proposals the council will submit. For more details go to: If you have an idea for a proposal
Nearly Wild is a new venture all about encouraging people to explore the natural world through fun, innovative projects and outdoor activities. This builds understanding of the natural world and our relationship with it, by encouraging an inquiring mind in all ages.
Nearly Wild Camping is the newest Nearly Wild initiative. Set up to let you get away from conventional campsites and experience wilder places, being comfortable to enjoy the experience with friends and family, knowing you can camp there and what facilities are available. As well as creating a small (but hopefully significant) income stream to landowners to help them gain a livelihood from their land.
We use a star system, similar to that used for tourist accommodation, but working in reverse, with the wildest places scoring the highest!
We are trialing the idea in Wales this summer and given the enthusiasm for the idea so far we are hoping to launch a countrywide initiative this autumn. People will need to register to access the site, but there will be no membership fee.
You can find out more information at or sign up to the mailing list here

Circle of Life Rediscovery have paces left on their Forest Schools Programme Leadership. This training provides the knowledge, understanding and skills needed for learners to take part in Forest School activities. The Level 3 Certificate will prepare learners for e
employment as a Forest School leader.

They are also running Outdoor Learning Training on 16th October 2013. This training will allow school practitioners (KS 1 - 3) to plan and use the outdoor learning environment to its maximum benefit for their pupils. The course offers participants and understanding of current theory and the chance to apply new skills through practical activities with the outdoors. For more details contact:

The Forestry Commission is looking to recruit new members to its Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committees. Their role is to

  • Advocate and champion forestry interests and woodlands partnership working at local level for woodland resilience and sector development, providing independent insight into local needs and priorities;
  • Provide advice, expertise and challenge on the application of national policies into Area and local programmes, and assist in aggregating local priorities into national programmes;
  • Support the Government’s interests by engaging with and developing strong local connections and networks to enhance synergies across the diverse forest and woodland sector, including the public forest estate;
  • Conciliate in disputed applications for grant aid, felling licences, or approval of forest plans where there is a sustained objection by a statutory body.

The term of office for will commence on 1 December 2013 for a term of three years. There is the possibility of reappointment for a further term subject to satisfactory performance. The closing date for completed applications is Wednesday 9 October. For more details e-mail:


Max. Value: Discretionary
The Trust offers grants for projects that relate to communities within ten miles of a Cory Environmental landfill site. The Trustees seek to support projects that fall within the regulations of the Landfill Communities Fund and that will have as big an impact on the community as possible. For more details contact

Max. Value: Discretionary Deadline: 16 Aug An initiative to add 10,000 street trees across London by the end of March 2015 to improve local neighbourhoods, ensure London retains and enhances its identity as one of the leafiest world cities, contribute towards increasing the tree canopy cover within the built environment and create partnerships with communities through working with charities and the boroughs to plant street trees. For more details contact:

Max. Value: £5000
The Santander Foundation and Mayor’s Fund for London have launched Community Plus London, a new £100,000 scheme to provide grants of up to £5,000 to small registered charities across London. For more details contact:

Max Value: £500,000 Deadline: 30 August 2013
The new £4.75 million Community Assets and Services Grants Programme is accepting Expressions of Interest from local community organisations in England that need funding to acquire or restore a local building. For more details go to

Max. value; 2,500 euros The Explore Fund supported by North Face is a European wide initiative that aims to help organisations that encourage youth outdoor participation. For more details contact

Andy Fanshawe Memorial Trust The AFMT funds projects that give disadvantaged young people the chance to develop an existing interest in the great outdoors.

For further information: Click Here

Breaks 4 Kids (England and Wales) Breaks 4 Kids is a charitable fund, run by YHA (Youth Hostel Association) that supports under-privileged young people under the age of 18, travelling as part of an organised group such as; school class, youth club, church group, or a group organised by a body such as the Youth Offending Group or Connexions.

For further information: Click Here
£30m funding for local communities The £19m Community Ownership of Assets programme offers grants to communities wanting to take control of a local asset such as a pub, shop, or library. The Community Right to Bid will help local groups to do this, and comes into force in the autumn.

The Community Right to Challenge (which became law last week) has £11m of grants available to communities with ideas about how they can run a local service.

The grants programme is provided by the Social Investment Business. The Right to Challenge grants will launch on 16 July - you should register your interest through the My Community Rights support service.

BEN’s work recognised by UNESCO award

BEN has been awarded the UNESCO UK Man and the Biosphere Urban Wildlife Award for Excellence.

The citation says "The Award is given to BEN for being a flagship project for pioneering and establishing ethnic environmental participation in the UK".

The Award’s assessment states “Over 25 years, Black Environment Network has undertaken a programme of projects that pioneered and established contact with nature between ethnic minorities and wildlife across the UK”

Everyone at BEN are delighted and honoured to receive this recognition for our work, under the direction of our former director and now president, Judy Ling Wong.

To see the full assessment go to

Find out more and apply on the NCVO website.