Groundwork receives £249,600 grant from Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Stream in Douglas Catchment

Groundwork’s River Douglas Challenge has been awarded a grant from the Government’s £40Million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants ranging from £68,100 to £1.95Million. Backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, this will create and retain over 1,000 green jobs.

Work will be carried out on over 600 sites from North Northumberland to the tip of Cornwall. Combined with the first round, almost a million trees will be planted. This contributes towards the Government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.

The River Douglas Challenge is led by Groundwork CLM to deliver on the River Douglas Catchment Partnership Action Plan. It will be rolled out as a collaborative partnership by member organisations Groundwork CLM, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Ribble Rivers Trust, Chorley Council and West Lancashire Borough Council.

All about the project

The project aims to deliver the following interventions across the Douglas Catchment:

  • Improve riparian habitats for native species whilst addressing Invasive Non Natives Species
  • Work with teams of trainees/apprentices and volunteers to undertake habitat and access improvements within greenspaces.
  • Undertake work to improve fish passage along the River Douglas, undertaking a capital project at Scholes Weir in Wigan.
  • Continued development of a robust evidence base to address catchment challenges as climate changes and population grows. This will be achieved through the dedicated online Douglas StoryMap. River Douglas Catchment Partnership (
  • Raise the profile of the work of the Catchment Partnership through dedicated social media.

Groundwork’s Sara Clowes who is the Chair/Host of the Douglas Catchment said: ‘Through this timely investment our member organisations are in a position to kickstart and implement priority elements of our Action Plan to improve our local waterways for people and wildlife alike. Sincere thanks go our dedicated member stakeholders who have come together in a spirit of collaboration to be the change that needs to happen on our rivers. All hands on deck and we are better together!

The Douglas Catchment Partnership is thrilled to have received support through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to deliver on our Groundwork CLM led Douglas Challenge programme.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing. The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies  The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors. Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant  almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “From wetland restoration, to creating wildlife-rich habitat for bees, it is vital that we value, protect and rebuild our natural heritage. This new funding will not only allow projects to carry out direct conservation which is essential in protecting our biodiversity, but it will increase awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect our future.” 

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “By supporting jobs from Northumberland to Somerset, the Green Recovery Challenge Fund will help deliver a nature positive future. The fund supports young people to develop skills needed to protect nature, build back greener and prepare for climate impacts, like floods and heatwaves.”

A full list of awards is available to view at:

You can find out more about the Douglas Catchment via Twitter @DouglasPilot

Volunteers at work on riverbank