Lottery windfall for group in Preston

Community organisation scoops six figure cheque for wildlife project in city

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 3:45 pm

A community group in Preston has hit the lotto jackpot.

The Ingol and Tanterton Community Trust (Intact) has landed a £214,200 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a new heritage project.

The funding will go towards the group’s ‘Delivering Digital Dobcroft’ project in Ingol and Tanterton, Preston.

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Families at Dobcroft Nature Reserve

The initiative will deliver a volunteering programme and build partnerships with wildlife specialists, schools and universities to ensure the longer-term sustainability of the Dobcroft Nature Reserve.

The project will help people develop their skills, understanding and knowledge of natural heritage and biodiversity and the work will begin in October 2021 after the successful recruitment of a natural heritage well-being coordinator.

It is designed to ensure Dobcroft, which is an urban wildlife haven for the protection of the Great Crested Newt, is more accessible, better conserved and safeguarded for future generations.

The creation of a virtual 360 degree tour of the reserve will serve as an online platform to display and share information, photos, records and resources created through the project.

It is hoped this will create a rich learning environment where more people from Preston and surrounding areas, and anywhere online, will learn about ‘Natural Heritage’.

The funding will help to deliver nature-themed activities such as species surveys and identification, walks, talks, Great Crested Newt sessions, pond dipping, on-site and online courses.

Intact will host Heritage Open Days, guided walks, and a range of nature-based trips.

Intact CEO Denise Hartley said: “We are are confident the project will ensure that our local nature reserve, will be a place within the community that many local families, children and adults alike can access and enjoy for many years to come.”

Gillian Blackburn, a land management volunteer said: “Being involved has provided me with a very special opportunity to volunteer in a green space in an ever growing urban setting. I live locally, and have had no garden space during recent lock downs.

“So Dobcroft has been central to my physical and mental health during difficult times. I am over the moon to hear of the successful funding for its vital continuation for the environment and the opportunities it offers to future volunteers and public at large.”