How to apply

Completing an application

To have a project considered to receive grants from the year’s fund, applications and supporting information should be emailed before the end of July each year.

There are two levels of grant funding, each with a separate application form:

Please download by clicking the relevant links to the application form above, complete and return, with the supporting documentation, to

How are applications determined?

Applications will be considered by a Grant Panel made up of ecological advisors to Rossendale Borough Council and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, and an independent ecological consultant.

Proposals will be assessed on their own merits. However, applicants must fulfil at least the following criteria:

  • The application must be for works within the Grant Area
  • The proposed scheme must deliver high quality ecological enhancements to Blanket bog or other upland and upland fringe habitats, or the habitats of breeding upland birds
  • There must be a commitment to long term management of the HEF funded works

Funding can cover 100% of project cost, although positive consideration will be given to applications for funding to match grants from other sources, or to serve as Contributing Third Party (CTP) payments.

What happens once I’ve submitted an application?

Following submission, it is possible that a member of the Grant Panel may contact you to talk about your application. In some cases, this will be a telephone conversation, but in other cases, the initial contact will be to arrange a time for you to be visited, ideally at the project site, so that the project can be discussed in detail and advice can be given where appropriate.

Your application will be discussed by the Grant Panel at their next meeting, and a decision made at that point as to whether the application has been successful. All applicants will be advised on the outcome of their application before the end of October.

Payment for successful projects would be made in advance of the works. By signing the application form you will have agreed to the terms and conditions of the HEF fund, which will include a requirement for you to submit progress reports and evidence of expenditure on the project. The terms and conditions will also require applicants to allow access to the project site by the Grant Panel or their representatives for the purposes of verification and monitoring.

Things to consider in your application

The Grant Panel will wish to understand how the project for which funding is being sought will lead to measurable gains in the quality and/or extent of blanket bog, upland habitats or upland breeding bird habitat.

With this in mind you should aim to provide details of the existing habitats in and around the area of the planned works, commenting on their condition and setting out how the project will deliver benefits. The project for which funding is required should ideally be a practical one, using proven techniques.

Applicants may find it useful to refer to Natural England's Upland Management Handbook.

The Grant Panel will need to be satisfied that the persons undertaking any works are appropriately experienced and qualified to do so. It is therefore important that applicants provide as much detail as possible as to how the work would be undertaken and by whom.

Applications will be considered regardless of size, although larger scale schemes and/or schemes which show high grade management to create optimum habitat will be given preference.

You will need to demonstrate how the benefits of the project will be sustained once the initial funding has been used.

Some activities that benefit biodiversity can have adverse effects on other features in the environment, such as for example, archaeological resources. It would be the applicant's responsibility to investigate any potential impacts on such features or other environmental interests.