Conservation groups in the River Wye catchment have received over £460,000 in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to tackle the impact of climate change on local communities and farmers.
The Wye Adapt to Climate Change project will focus on restoring nature and building a climate-resilient landscape in affected areas, including Radnorshire and Herefordshire.
The partnership involves the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.
These organisations aim to provide tools and support to communities and landowners for adapting to the challenges posed by changing weather patterns.
This includes promoting the creation of community climate action networks and working with landowners on nature-based solutions, such as water conservation for agricultural irrigation and flood prevention.
Sarah King, Nature Recover Manager at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Extreme weather events have become the norm across the region in recent years with often devastating effects for wildlife, farmers and communities.
“The good news is that there are many positive interventions that can be made to build resilience to these changing patterns and this funding from the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund gives us a fantastic opportunity to do just that.”
James Hitchcock, CEO of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, mentioned: “We have seen some really saddening statistics on the current state of the river. Thankfully, the solutions to climate change and the measures for adaption will also help the overall health of the river. We are really looking forward to working with farmers, members, and communities with this project.”
Nick Critchley of the Wye Valley AONB also added: “An integrated landscape-scale approach such as this will lead to more resilient networks and habitats, improving the adaptive capacity of the countryside for the benefit of the people and wildlife who depend upon it. We are very pleased to be a partner in this project.”
Melissa Eaglesfield, Deputy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, expressed her satisfaction: “We’re delighted to award more than £460,000 of National Lottery funding to the Wye Adapt to Climate Change project, which will support communities at risk of flooding from the River Wye.”
The project will initially run for three years, featuring project officers based in each partner organisation to connect with local groups, communities, and landowners across the catchment.