Apply for a grant
Apply for a grant
This fund is managed by the South Downs National Park Trust in partnership with the Volunteer Ranger Service. The Volunteer Conservation Fund will allocate grants of up to £5,000 annually (£2,000 is the average grant) to projects that enhance the National Park and include practical support of the Volunteer Ranger Service.
The application form, monitoring form and guidance document can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
The following organisations are eligible to apply:
- Not for profit organisations
- Voluntary/community groups
- Community interest companies
- Registered charities
- Parish Councils
- Landowners (or those responsible for managing land on behalf of others) who need support to enhance environmentally sensitive areas for the benefit of the wider public.
In order to be eligible projects must:
- Align with the South Downs National Park Management Plan
- Have direct involvement of the Volunteer Ranger Service
- Be not-for-profit (commercial landowners may apply providing the project aims to enhance environmentally sensitive areas for the benefit of the wider public)
- Have some involvement from the Volunteer Ranger Service (see below for more information on this requirement)
- Take place within South Downs National Park or within 5 miles of its boundary
- Be sustainable and show how it will be maintained in the future
The types of things that the funding can be spent on are:
- Specialist expertise
As these projects will have support from the Volunteer Ranger Service (who are qualified, equipped and funded by the South Downs National Park Authority) the following are unlikely to be funded:
- Staffing costs
However, funding requests of this nature will be considered.
Involving the Volunteer Ranger Service
This fund has been initially setup using funds belonging to the Volunteer Ranger Service. This group of approximately 400 people provide practical/physical support for a range of environmental, leisure and heritage projects across the Park and are led by professional staff from the South Downs National Park Authority. If your project does not already have confirmed involvement and support of the Volunteer Ranger Service please propose how it could be involved. It is not necessary to have their involvement confirmed when you apply but the opportunities for involvement that you put forward will be considered in the grant decision making process.
Match funding and payment terms
Both applications for 100% of the costs and those with match funding from other sources will be accepted – projects with significant costs will require match funding.
Grants are usually paid up-front but the Volunteer Ranger Service may agree interim payments or payment in arrears depending on the nature of the project.
The Volunteer Conservation Fund is managed on an annual cycle. At the beginning of the year (January to March) the fund will be promoted to those who are interested to apply with all applications to be submitted by 31st March.
The deadline for the current grant round is the 31st March 2020 with grant decisions being made in May – the process follows this cycle: