In 2007/08 we grant aided 12 projects through the Sustainable Development Fund. The projects are detailed below:
£10,500 was given towards the cost of purchasing and installing a wind turbine in the school grounds. This project was fully integrated into the school curriculum and will act as an example of good practice for similar school and community projects in the area.
Local and Effective Sustainable Solutions, based at the Lancaster Climate Change Advice Centre were given a grant of £5000 to work with AONB communities in the Lancaster district, raising awareness of climate change by attending local events and providing advice on home energy efficiency. They also worked with Dolphinholme Primary school on their Eco School, and advised tourism businesses in the AONB.
A small grant of £925 paid for a habitat and landscape survey to be carried out in the Bashall area, to assess the likely impact of fencing the riverbank. The survey suggested the impact of this work would be minimal and the Trust are now planning to implement the project, to improve the bankside and riverine habitats.
This small business was given a grant of £10,000 to install solar panels and a biomass boiler to heat and light a new building, which is to be used by trainees and students working at the nursery. There is also a plan to develop a horticultural social enterprise at the nursery, using the new premises.
This was the second year we supported the 'Looking Well in Bowland' project, a community arts initiative aimed at developing arts and community projects based around the AONB. This year a grant of £10,000 assisted with Bentham input to the Bowland Festival, support for the Day in the Life project and consultation on gateway signs for the town.
This tourist attraction used a grant of £10,000 to help purchase and install a small wind tubine and a large solar array of photovoltaic cells to generate renewable energy for the site. Until this point the centre was dependent on an oil powered generator so this project has significantly reduced their carbon footprint. The micro generation sites are interpreted for visiting school groups and the general public.
This new hall, in Abbeystead village, received an earlier grant from us to install ground source heating. This has now been complemented by a solar thermal system, providing hot water for the building via a grant of £4760.
Melling has a small village green which is also a Biological Heritage Site, because of its wildflower species. The parish council received a grant of £7000 to help purchase special machinery to harvest and bale the meadow hay, which will help to conserve the diversity of the green.
A grant of £5000 has helped the Trust, and Slaidburn Archive, to research and create new exhibitions which will be toured around the AONB and supplemented with talks. The grant has also enabled the Archive to promote itself and the valuable work it does for local history in the area.
Having supported the various village hall community renewable projects over the last two years, Community Futures were keen to help interpret and promote these schemes to users of the halls, and the general public. A grant of £3000 enabled the production of interpretive panels for each building, plus leaflets to take away.
A new walking, cycling and riding map of the AONB is being produced. A small grant of £2237 matched other monies from the sustainable tourism project to subsidise production of the first edition of the map, available for sale from June 2008.
A new cycle hire and holiday business needed capital support to get going. A small grant of Â£2000 has given the owner, Stuart Jones, the ability to buy bikes and a trailer to get his sustainable tourism business off the ground, and to start trading this Easter.
Once again, the Sustainable Development Fund has enabled the AONB to work with and support a wide range of communities and businesses working in a sustainable way within the protected landscape of Forest of Bowland. In total nearly £70,000 was distributed in 2007/08.