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Now in its fifth phase, our BAP partners programme provides funding to projects carried out by wildlife organisations which will conserve and enhance biodiversity across our region.
Running since 1998, the programme has led to some notable conservation successes and has helped to contribute to the goal of conserving and enhancing wildlife in our region.
We decided that funding expert conservation organisations to carry out biodiversity work was a good way of achieving effective outcomes on the ground that would stand the test of time.
Previous phases of the Partners Programme focused on work for species and habitats of importance within the UK but has subsquently broadened to include a focus on water quality and ecology issues.
The programme continues to fund biodiversity projects which focus on species or survey work; habitat creation or restoration work; or more strategic work focused on enhancing existing biodiversity, water quality or promoting wider conservation.
Dr Mark O'Connell, Wessex BAP science initiative:
"The flexibility of Wessex Water in letting the project 'grow and evolve' along new lines in response to partners' needs was a major positive facet of the funding model. We believe that this model really works, is a 'beacon' of best practice and should be promoted widely to the conservation sector."
Sarah Williams, Dorset Wildlife Trust, on the Nunnery Mead nature reserve restoration:
"Through the Wessex Water Partners programme we have been able to restore this historic wetland site by raising the water levels. Now work has been completed, this will become an important area for over-wintering birds as the site matures.”
Tracy Adams, farmland bird adviser, South Wiltshire Farmland project:
"The funding has been essential to the continuation of this project in a full time format beyond 2010. Wessex Water offered financial security over a five year period which was important for forward planning. The scale of the achievements have been significantly scaled back as this has always been about developing relationships with farmers and providing ongoing assistance through the life of their Higher Level Stewardship Agreements."
Kevin Rylands, RSPB, on the Wessex tree sparrow recovery project:
"Without the financial support by Wessex Water this project would never have got off the ground."
Ben Thorne, South West Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group on the resource protection in the Parrett catchment project:
"One of the major benefits of the funding has been its use on practical implementation like woodland planting in the floodplain, protecting headwater streams and watercourses."
Sally Mills, RSPB Site Manager, on the creation of Ham Wall nature reserve:
“It was critical that Wessex Water supported us when they did - the work needed to be done and now the wetland has the opportunity to mature.”
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