High Weald

Countryside Stewardship

chainsawing worker birch heathCountryside Stewardship provides financial incentives for land managers to look after their environment through activities such as:
• conserving and restoring wildlife habitats
• flood risk management
• woodland creation and management
• reducing widespread water pollution from agriculture
• keeping the character of the countryside
• preserving features important to the history of the rural landscape and
• encouraging educational access.

The scheme is:
• open to all eligible farmers, woodland owners, foresters and other land managers
• suitable for many types of land use (e.g. conventional and organic farmland, coastal areas, uplands and woodlands)
• competitive
• scored against local priority targets to maximise environmental benefit.

The scheme is led by Natural England working with Forestry Commission England, Environment Agency and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).  

Heritage Lottery Fund

celebrating weald forest ridge bluebells

The Heritage Lottery Fund has a number of different grants programmes, funding all kinds of heritage projects with grants from £3000 to over £5million. In assessing applications they take account of the outcomes for heritage, people and communities that projects will achieve. 

A Sharing Heritage grant £3,000 to £10,000 may help you explore your community’s heritage. Applying through this programme is straightforward, with a short application form and a quick decision.

An Our Heritage grant of £10,000 to £100,000 can help you protect and share the heritage you care about. Your project could focus on anything from personal memories and cultural traditions to archaeological sites, museum collections and rare wildlife.

Applications from not-for-profit organisations, private owners of heritage and partnership are accepted. If individuals or for-profit organisations are involved, the public benefit from the project must be greater than any private gain.

Sussex Lund

bluebells coppice

A grants programme established by Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing in collaberation with the Sussex Community Foundation. Sussex Lund will support small-scale, practical projects that improve the ecology and landscape of the High Weald. Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available to charities, community groups, schools, churches, councils, farmers and landowners.

Gatwick Airport Community Trust Fund

An independent charity that awards grants annually for deserving projects within the eligible area which covers parts of East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent and about 40% of the High Weald AONB. Funds are targeted to those areas where people are directly affected by operations at Gatwick Airport. The Fund supports schemes that are targeted towards the development of young people, the arts, sporting facilities, environmental improvement and conservation, improvements to community facilities, volunteering, the elderly and the disabled. The normal level of grant is from £1,000 to £5,000.

Map of eligible  area 

National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative

pylon national grid2

The overall objective of the scheme is to reduce the landscape and visual impact of National Grid’s existing electricity infrastructure and enhance the quality of the affected protected  landscapes. Where the visual impact of the electricity transmission line cannot be directly screened or otherwise mitigated the Initiative may fund projects that shift emphasis away from the transmission line by enhancing the landscape in other ways.

This Initiative is being administered by the High Weald AONB Partnership and is only relevant to an area within 3km of the National Grid’s powerline at the eastern end of the AONB. More information can be found on our webpage here,



Funded skills and training courses

training butchery groupIf you are an adult working in the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors or are a rurally located small business there may be training opportunities you can sign up to. A range of nationwide events are planned including training courses, workshops, seminars and conferences. These will be part funded through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), managed by DEFRA. All you or your employer would need to pay is 30% of the cost.

The training will focus on the following themes:

  • Business Management, Leadership and ICT Skills for Agriculture, Horticulture & Forestry
  • Knowledge Transfer, Innovation and Technical Skills for Agriculture Horticulture & Forestry
  • Agricultural Animal Health and Welfare
  • Marketing and Supply Chain Efficiency for Agriculture, Horticulture & Forestry
  • Resource Use Efficiency in Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry
  • Traditional Rural Skills and Rural Tourism.

For more information on the RDPE, visit the website.