€200k Fund to help communities create local biodiversity plans.

Brigid Geoghegan
Brigid Geoghegan • 31 May 2019

€200k Fund to help communities create local biodiversity plans.

The grants scheme has been devised to enhance biodiversity in communities throughout the country by combining the expertise of qualified ecologists with the skills, experience and enthusiasm of local community groups.

Timeline:                

  • Opening Date for applications                      17 May 2019
  • Closing Date for applications                        28 June 2019
  • Grants will be made by                               End September 2019
  • Studies should be carried out                      Feb 2020 - Nov2020
  • Progress Report due                                   Early December 2020
  • Community Biodiversity Plan due                March 2021              
  • Grantee Learning Event                              March 2021

This year, we have established a fund of €200,000 and are inviting community groups to apply for grant funding to engage an ecologist and develop a Community Biodiversity Plan (CBP) for their local area. Within the scheme, three levels of grant funding will be offered:

  • Strand 1: Grants of up to €5,000 for community groups to work with an ecologist to classify their local habitats, assess their condition and extent, map them, and define a suite of actions to enhance biodiversity
  • Strand 2: Grants of up to €7,500 for community groups who carry out the work outlined in Strand 1 in collaboration with one or two land managers/owners to classify habitats at landscape scale with a focus on field boundaries (hedgerows, treelines and stone walls), assess their condition and extent, map them and define a suite of actions to enhance biodiversity
  • Strand 3: Grants of up to €10,000 for community groups who carry out the work outlined in Strand 1 in collaboration with three to five land managers/owners to classify habitats at landscape scale with a focus on field boundaries (hedgerows, treelines and stone walls), assess their condition and extent, map them and define a suite of actions to enhance biodiversity

Criteria:

Grants will support community groups who wish to carry out ecological studies in their local areas with a view to developing a Community Biodiversity Plan. It is expected that studies will be carried out by qualified ecologists between February 2020 and November 2020, with final CBPs to be submitted by funded community groups to The Community Foundation for Ireland by March 2021.

Priority will be given to projects that focus heavily on engaging the wider community and demonstrate an intention and capacity to work closely with local landowners/ managers and with their chosen ecologist to produce a coherent, accessible and achievable Community Biodiversity Plan.

A resource pack will be provided to all successful applicants and will include a directory of ecologists who have been trained and briefed by The Community Foundation for Ireland in relation to the scheme, its proposed methodologies and its intended outcomes. These ecologists have agreed to a daily rate for their work of €330 exclusive of VAT and inclusive of travel and subsistence.

Groups may work with an ecologist whose name does not appear in the directory, provided they are suitably qualified and agree to the terms set out in the study criteria.

Outcomes:

The ultimate aim of the funding scheme is that successful community groups will develop a Community Biodiversity Plan based on the expert recommendations arising from the ecological study of their area. Further to this, each ecologist will be expected to submit their collected data to the National Biodivserity Data Centre by the end of March 2021.

The Fund Will Not Cover:

Core or ongoing overhead costs of grantee organisations, Equipment costs, Promotion of religious causes, Work that has already taken place, Non-charitable activities, General political donations, Sponsorship or fundraising events, Work taking place outside the Republic of Ireland

Applicant Requirements:

  • Groups may apply for only one strand of funding
  • Applications must be from community and voluntary groups that possess charitable aims and are not for profit
  • Groups must demonstrate capacity and willingness to work with a qualified ecologist and, where possible, local landowners/ land managers
  • Applicant organisations should have an annual income of not more than €2,000,000
  • You must submit either your organisation’s Annual Accounts or most recent set of Audited Accounts
  • Applicant organisations must have an organisational bank account
  • A copy of a recent bank statement must be submitted with your application. This is for account verification only and all financial transactions may be redacted before submission
  • Proposals must include clear, detailed, realistic costs and timescales
  • Applicants must be prepared to evaluate and learn from their work as well as to share project learning and outcomes through the participation in a grantee learning event in March 2021
  • We encourage applicant organisations to consider adopting The Governance Code for charities        
  • A commitment to equal opportunities must be demonstrated
  • Organisations working with cohorts under the age of 18 will be required to produce a copy of their Child Protection Policy

Reporting Requirements:

Successful applicants will be expected to:

  • Acknowledge the support of The Community Foundation for Ireland on any materials associated with the grant
  • Submit an Progress Report in December 2020
  • Submit a copy of their Community Biodiversity Plan in March 2021
  • Participate in a grantee learning event in March 2021
  • Ensure that data collected from the ecological study is submitted to the National Biodiversity by March 2021

How to Apply:

Once you have ensured that you meet all of the grant criteria above, you can then make an online application by clicking on the link below.

https://communityfoundationireland.secure.force.com/forms/Env2019

Closing Date: 4.00pm on 28th  June 2019

NOTE: Your application will be acknowledged. If you do not receive an acknowledgement e-mail, please contact us at info@foundation.ie or on 01 874 7354.