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Grassland and Woodland Restoration

Bay Trust

Applicant: The Bay Trust

Project: Bay Hill Grassland and Steps Bank Woodland Education and Restoration Project

Grant award: £15000

The project has restored and initiated on-going management of around 1.5 acres of grassland, 1.5 acres of scrub and coppice, and 1.5 acres of open canopy woodland for educational use, creating zones which demonstrate ecological succession and different natural and managed habitats including grassland, scrub, coppice and secondary woodland on Steps Bank, at St Margarets Bay. The project includes establishing managed access, on-going engagement of volunteers, tree planting, habitat improvement and interpretation panels, as well as construction of a compost toilet and an education shelter.A Grassland and Woodland Worker, who was previously a volunteer, has been employed to lead on implementing the project and set up the management regime, working both independently and as part of a team, with valuable contributions from volunteers on the Bay Trust volunteer programme.

The area has already been widely used by teenagers at risk of not being in education, employment or training, who are undertaking the John Muir Award (a project also funded by Up on the Downs) and by the Dover area ‘Bridging the Gap’ project, working with at risk young people, which aims for them to gain health and well-being benefits from outdoor activities, and to raise social inclusion, identifying and developing personal skills traits, such as, self esteem, self confidence, perseverance and determination. Steps Bank is available for local schools and organisations to use as an outdoor education resource – contact the Bay Trust for more information or take a look at their website.