About the Fund

The Dorset National Landscape is a nationally important protected landscape, with vibrant communities and a wealth of wildlife and heritage. To help keep the area special, each year the Dorset National Landscape Sustainable Development Fund supports projects that will help conserve, enhance and celebrate the natural beauty of this special area.

The Sustainable Development Fund aims to get local people thinking about how they can help keep the landscape in great shape for future generations to enjoy. Now in its seventeenth year, we are proud to have funded over 290 local projects, all very different but all with the local landscape at their core – a selection can be seen below.

This year’s fund (2023/24) is now closed.

Pink Pippos Beach Clean 2022 (c) Sam Rose

What do we fund?

The priorities for the Dorset National Landscape are laid out in the latest Dorset National Landscape Management Plan which sets out what we think needs to be done over the next 5 years to safeguard and celebrate this fantastic landscape. We hope that the projects supported by the Sustainable Development Fund will help us achieve some of these priorities.

However, you may also have your own ideas about what makes your area special and what needs to be done – we can offer you some support to help transform your ideas into action.

Bridport Youth Dance at Eggardon Hill 2022

The Dorset National Landscape Sustainable Development Fund can support projects that:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty and heritage of the Dorset National Landscape.
  • Support the social and economic wellbeing of local communities in sustainable ways that care for the environment.
  • Have the support and involvement of local people or meet a recognised local need.
  • Help deliver the Dorset National Landscape Management Plan.

We would particularly like to support projects that:

  • Encourage everyone to get involved, including young people.
  • Remove barriers to all people’s enjoyment and involvement in the countryside.
  • Bring organisations and people together in tackling problems or promoting new ideas.
  • Encourage links between urban groups and those resident in the Dorset National Landscape.
  • Demonstrate innovation or best practice.
  • Address the climate and ecological emergency.

You can use the Sustainable Development Fund to establish new projects, or to add value or new dimensions to existing projects.

Anyone (individual, group or organisation) can apply to the fund. At the application stage, there are conditions that apply – our Terms & Conditions and also our Privacy Policy. If your project is successful, there will also be conditions that you will have to abide by to ensure the fund is used in the best way for its intended purpose.

We have £10,000 in the Sustainable Development Fund pot this year.

While there is no upper limit to what you can ask for, although a project would have to be exceptional to receive more than £1,500.

The fund can support up to 50% of the costs of most projects or 75% if you are a voluntary group or charity. The Fund cannot be matched by Exchequer funds – i.e. money from a Government department or agency (e.g. Natural England, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission etc.). In-kind contributions and volunteer time can be used as match funding; the amounts can be found on the application form.

We do not fund projects that support direct commercial transactions for financial gain.

The deadline to apply for funding is Wednesday 19th April 2023.

You can find the application form, guidance notes, finance form and terms & conditions below. The Fund opens in Feb to April each year but do contact us anytime for an informal discussion as unspent funds may be available at other times of year.

We’ll happily talk with you about your project ideas either over the phone or online – to talk or arrange a meeting, please call Kate Townsend, Dorset National Landscape Project Support Officer.

Other Funding Options in the Dorset National Landscape