A dozen North Devon projects which conserve and enhance the area’s natural beauty have benefitted from a £25,000 grant pot.

Gay Kite from Prickles Hedgehog Rescue at an education event during half term, supported by a grant from North Devon AONB. Picture: ContributedGay Kite from Prickles Hedgehog Rescue at an education event during half term, supported by a grant from North Devon AONB. Picture: Contributed

The grants come from the North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund, which has been running for 12 years and is funded by Defra.

Successful applicants this year included Plastic Free North Devon, Prickles Hedgehog Rescue, the Hartland Peninsula Association, Ilfracombe RNLI, St Mary’s Church Mortehoe, the Koa Tree Project at Welcombe, the Old Schoolroom Craft Gallery at Lee Bay, the RSPB, North Devon Moving Image CIC, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe Museums and the Marine Conservation Society.

AONB manager Jenny Carey-Wood said: “We are delighted to have allocated all the grant for this year to such a wide range of projects which help to deliver the AONB Management Plan.

“They include a summer pirate trail around Lee Bay, a therapeutic permaculture garden in Welcombe and a high tech infrared camera for the RNLI to improve night time rescue capabilities. Supporting the great ideas from local groups and businesses meets local needs as well as our priorities, and this year will deliver spend of nearly £120,000 in the area.”

Plastic Free North Devon group were awarded a grant towards its Mobile Water Bar which could be seen at events throughout the summer, allowing people to fill up their water bottles rather than buy single use plastic bottles.

Next year’s fund will open in March 2019 to community groups, agencies and businesses to apply for grants between £100 and £4,000. See https://www.northdevon-aonb.org.uk/our-work/grants for more information.