Small Grant Scheme
2024-2025 application period is open now!
Apply to support your project by Friday 1st March 2024

Small grants for biodiversity and geodiversity voluntary recording work in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and the Tees Valley.

£3000 Is available to help fund recording activity for the 2024-2025 year.  £800 of which has been kindly donated by Northumbrian Water. The grants are awarded to support work that improves the quality, quantity or coverage of voluntary recording in the North East.

Small Grants can help with the purchase of equipment, funds to pay for specialist training, or expenses such as volunteer mileage. It’s best to have a chat through your project ideas with ERIC NE beforehand.

Recent schemes include:

  • Northumberland Badger Group – Funds for a new laptop to manage data.
  • Friends of Red kites – Tagging red Kite Chicks
  • Northumberland Rivers Trust – Riverfly monitoring equipment
  • Durham County Council – Acoustic monitoring equipment

Please email if you have any queries or would like to have a chat about your project ideas for the next round of funding for your 2024-25 project.

Closing date: Friday 01 March 2024

Apply for the Small Grant Scheme

Here is what some of our small grant applicants had to say about how the grants helped their project in the past:

Friends of the Brierdene required additional equipment for use by volunteers and schools, to survey the Brierdene Burn and to carry out its hoverfly survey. The small grant allowed us to purchase two lightweight sweep nets for collecting and recording hoverflies, and a pond dipping net.

The survey work was carried out throughout the year by our regular volunteers, Duke of Edinburgh students who were working with us and visiting schools. The equipment was also used every Saturday during our Summer Holiday Nature Hour in the Brierdene.

No previous survey work had been done on Hoverflies in the Brierdene. 10 surveys were carried out at various times throughout the year and a total 15 different species of Hoverflies were recorded.

The survey work in the Brierdene Burn allowed us to confirm the species that were known to be in the burn, and to record a new species a Water Cricket which had not been in the dene before seen before.

The equipment purchase though the small grant will continue to be used in in survey work and to monitor the life in the Brierdene Burn as well as supplying Records to ERIC NE.

Wylam Community Orchard is in the grounds of Wylam First School on a beautiful south-facing site overlooking the Tyne Valley. Since 2011 volunteers have planted 80 fruit trees and created a wildflower meadow beneath them.

We wanted to survey butterflies, day-flying moths and bats on the site. This requires expert knowledge and we have been fortunate to have help from Butterfly Conservation North-East and the Northumberland Bat Group to conduct surveys over the last two years. ERIC small grant funding has facilitated this work. We hope that the resulting data will show increasing biodiversity year on year as the meadow and trees mature. We are very grateful to ERIC for its support.

As the Garden Moth Scheme Coordinator for the North East England, in 2013 and 2014, I loaned my old moth trap to friends, who wanted to try trapping moths. At the end of the year, one of these friends decided to buy his own trap and continue trapping.

I advertised the availability of two loan traps and was pleased to receive four applications. Stephen and Helen, the recipients of the trap built with the ERIC grant, were successful in completing the 2015 GMS. As result, the Northumberland County Moth Recorder now has 433 records of 2077 individual moths covering 144 species that he would not otherwise have had, thanks to the small grant scheme from ERIC North East.

As a result of advertising the loan traps in the autumn of 2015, a kind lady donated most of a third trap to the GMS. No bad thing as I have six applications to borrow a trap in 2016.

As long as the traps survive, they will be loaned to a different recipient each year. In my limited experience, more than half of the recipients will end up buying or making their own trap. The true legacy of the ERIC small grant will be the increase in the number of people recording moths in North East England and the corresponding increase in the number of records.

The funding you supplied set the group up with 3 GPS handsets that would enable full coverage of the whole reserve, recording the positions of setts and badger activity.

The reference points of all sets to date have now been recorded and can be shared when disturbances or concerns are detected. The effective survey work, monitoring and protection are ongoing. A full set of results, badger numbers, locations and activities of the work done to date are ready to be forwarded to ERIC NE very shortly. What has emerged is a clear picture of habitats and activity for the length of the reserve which will be monitored and future changes/additions recorded.

ERIC North East, Great North Museum: Hancock, Barras Bridge Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT