The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) and Network Rail are working together to offer an exciting funding opportunity for biodiversity in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
Network Rail Infrastructure Projects (IP), the division responsible for delivering railway upgrades, is committed to a “measurable net positive contribution towards biodiversity in the UK”. No Net Loss to Biodiversity on the Greater West Programme (TGWP) is a pilot project, putting principle into practice by compensating for unavoidable habitat loss (mainly young semi-natural woodland and some scrub) during the electrification programme. Although scrub, grassland and other low-lying habitats will grow back where trees have been removed, there has been some unavoidable loss to biodiversity. Funding is available for the creation and improvement of similar habitats to those that have been lost.
What biodiversity projects are eligible?
- Creating new woodland, providing better links and connectivity between woodlands, and enhancing existing woodland and scrub mosaic; other habitats could also be considered if in close proximity to the railway line
- Preference for large projects (e.g. 5ha new woodland planting) or clusters of smaller projects delivered by partnerships
- A key aim is to improve good quality areas by making them bigger and better connected to other wildlife sites and to improve the quality of existing habitats
- The projects should be as local as possible to the railway line within the following local authority areas; Oxford City, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, West Berkshire, Reading Borough, Wokingham Borough, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead