Fundraising: Renamed GrantScape makes first biodiversity awards

The environmental grant-making charity GrantScape has relaunched and handed out a first round of awards to organisations working to promote biodiversity.

At a reception at the House of Lords two weeks ago, the charity gave out £3.5m from its Biodiversity Challenge Fund 2005. Nine charities shared the funds, with the largest grant of £571,135 going to Butterfly Conservation to purchase land in Shropshire and restore heathland habitats. The National Trust and the Woodland Trust were among other recipients.

Formerly the Shanks First Fund, GrantScape was set up in 1997 with grants from the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.

Funding now comes from WRG Waste Services, through a credit scheme that involves landfill operators giving money to environmental bodies and claiming back a proportion of the money as credit from the Treasury as tax foregone.

Under its new banner, GrantScape will manage grant programmes for other organisations, either within the tax credit scheme or from other sources, such as local authorities.

In its mission statement, the charity describes its vision "to improve life of communities and the environment by the channelling and management of charitable funding towards deserving and quality projects".

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