Lincolnshire wildlife to benefit from £450,000 biodiversity fund

Friday 5th September 2014

Woodhall Spa AirfieldWoodhall Spa Airfield - Rachel Shaw

Lincolnshire habitats are set to thrive with the help of £450,000 from a new national land purchase fund.

Thanks to the grant from WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund Land Purchase Programme, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust will be able to purchase the former RAF Woodhall Spa Airfield and develop a new 100-hectare nature reserve.

Once the home of the 617 ‘Dambuster’ Squadron, the airfield was more recently quarried for sand and gravel. As a new nature reserve it will become a haven for wildlife and a monument to the UK’s aviation heritage.

Critically, the airfield is adjacent to the Trust’s existing nature reserves, Kirkby Moor and Bain Valley, and will provide a rare chance for a significant landscape-scale nature conservation project. New habitats will be created and managed by the Trust, including heathland and grassland. Woodlark, skylark and meadow pipit have already expanded their range from the neighbouring reserves. Grey partridge, lapwing, turtle dove, cuckoo, song thrush, starling, tree sparrow, linnet and yellowhammer have also bred annually in recent years.

The WREN fund, which is one of the last of its kind in the UK, recognises that land acquisition plays an important part in reducing habitat fragmentation. It can help to mitigate the effects of climate change by creating ecological networks and buys space and time for wildlife populations under pressure.

More than 490 hectares of land will be purchased across habitats such as saltmarsh, heathland, woodland, chalk streams, chalk grassland, and lowland raised bog.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is one of nine projects to receive a share of the fund this year, totalling more than £2.9 million. Other organisations to benefit in 2014 include the RSPB, Kent Wildlife Trust and Essex Wildlife Trust.

Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust said: “The major contribution from WREN through the Biodiversity Action Fund has made the purchase of Woodhall Spa Airfield a reality. Together with contributions from members and other supporters it is allowing the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust to safeguard the whole of the site and is the start of an exciting restoration programme.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants generated by landfill tax through sites owned by FCC Environment, to community, environmental and heritage projects countrywide.

Kristian Dales, sales and marketing director at FCC Environment said: “Working closely with WREN, we are committed to supporting land acquisition projects that will help achieve long-term conservation goals. The funding will enable organisations around the UK to create, develop and grow important habitats, ensuring the futures of our wonderfully diverse and precious wildlife.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the project progresses and are delighted that the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is able to continue its fantastic work making a huge difference to UK conservation.”


The programme is open to any organisation that is both a charity and an environmental body. To register interest or check eligibility go to The next deadline for applications is 31 October 2014, with funding decisions to be announced January 2015.

The airfield was featured on BBC One’s Countryfile programme on Sunday 29 June.

Find out more about Woodhall Spa Airfield: it's history, wildlife and how you can help safeguard the area and develop a new nature reserve. 


WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK from funds donated FCC Environment as part of a voluntary environmental tax credit scheme called the Landfill Communities Fund. Since 1998, WREN has granted over £190m to more than 6000 projects which benefit people living within 10 miles of a FCC Environment landfill site.

FCC Environnent
From waste to resource. FCC Environment are the leading UK waste and resource management company and are part of a global group with a strong heritage in providing services for communities and business. Their vision is to be the environmental company of choice, delivering change for a sustainable future. They offer:

Municipal services – household waste collection, street cleansing, parks and gardens maintenance
Business waste solutions – waste collection and recycling services for small and large companies
Recycling – material recycling facilities, household waste recycling centres
Green energy – recovery of energy from waste
Waste processing – industrial waste treatment, hazardous wastes and landfill disposal

They employ 2,400 people and operate more than 200 facilities across England, Scotland and Wales.

Landfill Tax and the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF)
Any waste that is discarded which cannot be reused, reprocessed or recycled may ultimately be disposed of in a landfill site. To encourage Landfill site Operators (LOs) to re-use, recycle, recover more value from waste and use more environmentally friendly methods of waste disposal, Landfill Tax is charged on each tonne of waste sent to landfill.
LOs are able to claim a credit (currently 5.1%) against their landfill tax liability to support a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of their landfill sites through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). The LCF is regulated by ENTRUST on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs, and the projects are delivered by enrolled Environmental bodies (EBs).
Since its inception in 1996, over £1.3 billion has been spent on more than 50,000 projects across the UK. For further information, please visit or see HMRC’s general guide to Landfill Tax




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