The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund

£33 million for OBF young people's programme
1,000 's of people closer to nature
200 + Wildlife Trust projects supported
40 Wildlife Trusts have received funding

What is the National Lottery?

The National Lottery – and with it National Lottery funding for Good Causes like heritage, arts, sport and charities – was established in 1994.  Every time you play a game, you’re helping to support projects. Since The National Lottery began, players have generated over £39 billion pounds, which has been distributed across the UK.

National Lottery funding which is distributed through The National Lottery Community Fund (and 11 other specialist organisations) has helped Wildlife Trusts to achieve many amazing things for people and wildlife over the years.

About The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund, formerly known as The Big Lottery Fund is one of 12 distributors for The National Lottery and is one of the largest funders of community activity in the UK. In 2018/19 we awarded over £500 million, supporting projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

It funds projects and activities that make communities stronger and more vibrant, and that are led by the people who live in them.

The aims of Wildlife Trusts align perfectly with this aspiration, making us ideal delivery partners to run projects that really make a difference to the local environment as a whole - we help people connect with nature and each other and in doing so, provide opportunities for people to take action for wildlife and its habitat in the places that are closest and most important to them.

How The National Lottery Community Fund supports Wildlife Trusts to make a difference

200 fantastic projects have been delivered by 40 Wildlife Trusts across the UK, all made possible with funding from the Big Lottery fund (now known as The National Lottery Community Fund). The projects have brought benefits to thousands of people of all ages, from all walks of life whilst also benefiting the wildlife and its surrounding habitat – an amazing achievement!

Projects include; inspiring people to learn life skills through nature, creating community green spaces for local people to meet and share interests, woodland therapy to address mental health issues and turning a derelict piece of land into a traditional wildflower meadow for local people to enjoy and wildlife to flourish.

Here are just a few examples of the many projects currently being run by Wildlife Trusts, supported by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Wild at Heart - Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust

Reaching over 4000 people in the over 50’s age bracket, adults who are isolated and vulnerable, this innovative community project has in many cases provided a much needed lifeline, using a whole variety of hobbies to engage and improve health and wellbeing, reduce social isolation and help give the confidence to get out and about in the community.

The Environment and Me (TEaM) - Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Allotments, rivers, woodlands, parks and greenspaces across Coventry, all accessible by public transport, are the venues for this amazing project. Working in partnership with Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, the project provides positive, engaging outdoor experiences for people experiencing poor mental health in Coventry. Watch this short video clip for an inspirational story from one man who’s life changed for the better…..

Woodland Therapy Project - Hants & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Campfire cooking, green woodwork projects, rural crafts and wildlife watching are the kinds of weekly activities that adults living with mental health conditions in Yarmouth can take part in. Spending time and activities in nature help all of us and projects such as these have turned people’s lives around.

Big lottery fund

(C) Kathy Grogan / HIWWT

Wild Communities - The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales

The Upper Swansea Valley in Wales hosts a range of habitats from limestone grassland to Rhos pasture and ancient woodland. It supports rare species such as the Marsh Fritillary butterfly. The populated area surrounding it has a high area of deprivation and this three-year project works with local partner agencies such as Jobcentre Plus and Communities First to help revitalise these communities and their local environment.

Big Lottery Fund

(C) Chris Jones

Our Bright Future

The Wildlife Trusts have a longstanding relationship with the The National Lottery Community Fund through its experienced grants team, who manage large scale programmes on behalf of the National Lottery Community Fund and other funders. It is currently lead partner of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme, which brings together the youth and environmental sectors.


Our Bright Future

Our Bright Future is an innovative movement for change. It is brilliant that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised that societal and environmental challenges are two sides of the same coin. The programme supports young people to develop the skills needed to thrive in the workplace and to become courageous and wise leaders empowered to change our world for the better.
Stephanie Hilborne OBE
Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts

For information on projects and activities taking place at your local Wildlife Trust, click here.

For further information on other projects funded by the The National Lottery Community Fund, click here.