A £2.5 million grant has been awarded to four projects across the North of England in a bid to ensure that natural heritage is protected for years to come.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested more than £187m to wildlife projects in the last 25 years, including the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Part of this new funding with go to the National Park Explorers and Young Rangers for their project Building a Lifelong Connection to Nature.

It aims to a build life-long connection to nature through hedge and tree planting, monitoring scheduled monuments and conservation skills.

David Renwick, director of England, North at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Through our conversations with National Lottery players, we know that nature is incredibly important to them, and the funding for these projects means that they can play their part in preserving the significant and varied wildlife that the North of England is home to.

“At the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’re incredibly proud to be playing a role in ensuring our natural heritage is safeguarded for generations to come, but also that the projects we fund give people the chance to connect with the nature and wildlife that is on their doorsteps.”

The other projects receiving funding are the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, Eden Rivers Trust and Sheffield Wildlife Trust.

More than 1,200 volunteer opportunities will be created across all four projects, and there will be more chances for people to get involved in learning about nature through events such as surveys, walks, exhibitions and stargazing.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund in the North of England has a huge role to play to ensure that heritage is at the heart of inspiring pride in communities and boosting investment in local economies.

The fund’s north area team is dedicated to working with wildlife and nature organisations to achieve this, while also giving residents opportunities to become better connected with their natural heritage, allowing people to be hands-on and realise the value it adds to their daily lives.