RYEDALE’S MP has congratulated the North York Moors National Park Trust for winning a £163,400 grant from round one of the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

The trust has been awarded the funds for their project entitled, North York Moors Woodland Restoration Team.

The work will seek to conserve and enhance 193ha of woodland, including ancient woodland, and create four new full-time jobs, including traineeships aimed at 16 to 24 year olds.

The trust is a registered charity that works closely with the North York Moors National Park Authority and other organisations to secure the future of the North York Moors. The majority of its income is generated from supporters and the public through donations and legacies.

Mr Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said: “The trust does fantastic work to help conserve our threatened and vulnerable plants and wildlife as well as protecting our landscape and heritage.

“It is so easy to take our beautiful North Yorkshire countryside for granted, but it involves huge amounts of work to preserve it for us and future generations to enjoy.

“I am so pleased that they have been awarded this grant to enable them to deliver this important project.”

Tom Hind, chairperson of the North York Moors National Park Trust, said: “We are delighted that the North York Moors is set to have large areas of its woodland restored and conserved, thanks to a grant of more than £160,000 awarded to the National Park Authority and the National Park Trust.

“Alongside the significant environmental benefits, the project will employ four new full-time members of staff, with three of these positions going to young people aged 16 to 24 years old.

“The newly-formed Woodland Restoration Team will begin work in January on tasks including tree and shrub planting and the removal of invasive species.

“The team will also receive training and advice to help develop their the skills further, so that they may secure similar employment locally or to become self-employed woodland management contractors at the end of the project.”

The £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund is kick-starting a pipeline of nature-based projects to restore nature, tackle climate change and connect people with the natural environment.

Funding is being distributed on behalf of Defra by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Round 1 of the fund opened on September 14 and grants have now been awarded, providing investment quickly to help create and retain jobs in the nature sector when most needed in the wake of the pandemic.

Following the success of the first round, the government has confirmed that it will double the size of the fund by making an additional £40 million investment. Round two will be launched in early 2021.