A project that aims to recruit community volunteers and broaden the range of people connecting to nature and safeguarding wildlife has been awarded £41,447 funding.

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust has received the grant from the government’s Community Levelling Up Programme and will support a new full-time Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Community Ranger to manage a programme of activities to upskill community volunteers to become decision-makers for nature recovery on the islands.    

The programme will ensure wild spaces are more accessible, with a strong focus on supporting young people, people affected by loneliness and people who would benefit from being more active outdoors. The Trust’s new Community Ranger, Simon Nicholls, says: “It’s brilliant to have a chance to help people get more involved in the important work of the Wildlife Trust. We’re hopeful that the benefits of being outdoors doing good work in good company, will improve people’s wellbeing and do as much for our new volunteers as it does for our wildlife and countryside access!”  

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust is the only charity in Scilly which manages land for people and wildlife. The Trust has responsibility for managing half the land across the isles, being central to the partnership that promotes enjoyment and appreciation of the Isles of Scilly National Landscape.  

The funding has been allocated from Cornwall Council’s Community Levelling Up Programme. The Community Levelling Up Programme is part of the Good Growth Programme, which is delivering the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.  Steve Sims, Lead Member for Economy, Tourism and Transport at the Council of the Isles of Scilly said: “This a great local initiative and exactly fits in with the aims of the Community Levelling Up Programme. The Isles of Scilly are blessed with an extraordinary, diverse ecology concentrated in a very small place. This is a great opportunity for more people to learn more about our natural environment, which needs our continued support and protection.”  

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, Louis Gardner, said: “Initiatives like this one which support community involvement in caring for where you live, is exactly the kind of levelling up community project that the funding was designed for. I encourage more projects to get in touch to apply for this kind of funding.”   

Cornwall Council administers funding from the Community Levelling Up Programme, offering grants of between £5,000 and £200,000 to support projects that tackle priorities for funding identified by local communities across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.