We’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the many individuals, businesses and partner organisations who have supported our charitable work over the last twelve months – we couldn’t have achieved so much without you!
2016 got off to a flying start with the launch of several exciting new projects, including Stories in Stone; a four year programme of community and heritage projects based around the Ingleborough area. The £2.6 million scheme is mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund thanks to National Lottery players, and has already seen us deliver lots of education, outreach and training opportunities, as well as distributing around £50,000 in grants to support local initiatives.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of our work restoring wildflower hay meadows, we launched Meadow Links – a project that aims to empower communities to conserve their local wildlife. Working together we’ll create species-rich meadows and wildlife patches across the Dales and Forest of Bowland to support bumblebees, butterflies, birds and small mammals.
Green Futures also began this year, bringing opportunities for 4,000 young people aged 11-24 to connect with their local environment over five years. We’re sharing the skills and knowledge to help make real environmental improvements and raise awareness. It’s part of Our Bright Future – a movement of 31 youth-led projects across the UK, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.
The launch of the Roger Stott Community Grant Fund was another highlight of 2016. We awarded £30,000 in small grants to community groups in and around the Yorkshire Dales to support a wide variety of local projects, including new playground equipment, village hall improvements and craft workshops to name just a few. Thanks to ongoing support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, a further £45,000 has been added to the fund, and we’re looking forward to supporting many more community projects that will make a big difference to local people.
Environmental conservation continues to be a key focus, and we’d particularly like to thank our friends at The Fuelcard Company for their vital support in this area. Working with landowners and partners including Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, we have planted around 1.3 million new native trees since 1996, with several more new woodlands being planted this winter.
2017 looks set to be another exciting year, not least because we will be celebrating the Trust’s 20th birthday. We plan to mark the occasion by distributing 20 special awards to support a range of initiatives across the region – we’ll look forward to sharing details in due course.
We’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at YDMT.
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