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£2m grant to restore South Downs’ nature-rich chalk grassland
Rare and nature-rich chalk grassland will be restored with a £2.23 million National Lottery grant for the South Downs, the National Trust has said.
A partnership led by the charity to restore the ancient landscape and connect people to it will manage land for nature, offer outdoor therapeutic sessions for those with mental health needs and create jobs and volunteering opportunities.
Some 18 schemes, including returning 60 hectares (150 acres) of golf course to downland and reintroducing grazing to help manage 40 sites, will go ahead over the next four years.
In total, 815 hectares (2,000 acres) of land will be managed for nature, the National Trust said, while there will be community projects to access green space, and an archaeology project to get people digging for history in gardens and public spaces.
The 10-organisation-strong partnership will work with communities, farmers, landowners and vineyards, and will provide jobs, apprenticeships and training in Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Lewes, as well as new skills for around 2,500 volunteers, the National Trust said.