Open for applications Wednesday 5th June 2024

Round 4 Now Open

About the Fund

Our vision is that the Lake District will be an example of sustainable development in action. A place where its prosperous economy, world class visitor experiences and vibrant communities come together to sustain the spectacular landscape, its wildlife and cultural heritage.  We want to support projects that help us to achieve this vision. 

The Lake District Foundation launched the Real Hedge Fund in June 2020 and is made up of donations from businesses, visitors and residents who love the Lake District and want to help the cause. The Real Hedge Fund aims to grow, improve and celebrate the importance of hedgerows for the environment and cultural heritage of the Lake District.  Thanks to generous donations from the public during our Christmas 2023 appeal, we now have £5,000 available. 

What we can support: 

  1. Hedgerow creation and improvement (habitat connectivity projects will be prioritised) 
  2. Projects that increase understanding and appreciation of hedgerows and woodlands (such as citizen science and education projects)

 Who is eligible: 

  • Small & Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs*) 
  • Individuals 
  • Schools 
  • Constituted groups including CICs and CIOs 

* Turnover less than £25.9 million, balance sheet total of less than £12.9 million and less than 250 employees. 

 We will not fund: 

  • Work that has already taken place 
  • Planting non-native species 
  • Activity that is already funded 
  • Projects that deliver no benefit to the environment 

CRITERIA 1 – Hedgerow creation 

  • Hedgerow should be between 50-100m long 
  • Minimum of 60% Hawthorne and 40% local appropriate species must be used 
  • Minimum of 5 plants per metre must be planted 
  • Double or single fenced planting scheme  
  • Applications should demonstrate a commitment to maintenance 
  • Guidance costs: 
    • Hedge laying – £18 per metre 
    • Hedge copiccing – £8.30 per metre 
    • Hedge planting (6 plants per metre) – £13.46 
    • Fencing  

CRITERIA 2 – Hedgerow understanding and celebration 

  • Projects should increase understanding of or celebration of hedgerows for example surveys of existing hedgerows or events that raise awareness about their importance. 


  • Projects must take place in Cumbria 
  • Commitment to provide follow up reports 
  • Willing to allow at least one site visit over the next 10 years 
  • Willing to host knowledge sharing visits for public or interested parties 
  • Environmental value can be evidenced 
  • Activity is not to be “doubled funded”, the proposal is not to be covered by an existing stewardship or grant funding scheme 
  • Match funding is allowed and recommended 
  • Projects that are inclusive and allow volunteers from the community to be involved are preferred 

 Timeline and Process 

  • Wednesday 22nd May 2024 – Guidance available 
  • Wednesday 5th June 2024 9am (World Environment Day) – Open for applications 
  • Wednesday 3rd July 2024 5pm – Close for applications  
  • Wednesday 17th July – Grant panel meeting  
  • 24th July – Decision letters issued 
  • Work to be completed and monitoring forms submitted by March 2025 

 All applications that meet the criteria will be reviewed by the grants panel.  

Shortlisted applicants may be invited to talk to the panel and discuss their project further by phone call or videocall. 

The panel will consider the applications and decide which projects to approve and the size of the grant to be awarded, if applicable.  

The panel is made up of a representative of the Lake District Foundation, a trustee from the Board. 

Funding decisions are final.  We will provide individual feedback where possible but this may not happen if a large volume of applications is received. 

 How to apply 

Applications for funding must be made on the online form. If you need any support with the application process please contact: [email protected], call: 07497816091 or write to us Unit 4, Wayfaring House, Murley Moss Business Park, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7RL 

Terms of funding 

Funding will be conditional upon the recipient agreeing to the grant conditions. These will include a requirement for the applicant to provide details of progress against set targets.  

Funding will not be provided if doing so would damage the name or reputation of the Fund, or if the Trustees have other good grounds for refusing funding. 

Funding will be provided to allow for activity to be carried out between August 2024 and March 2025 and 80% of the total grant will be paid in advance of activity, and the remaining 20% paid upon return of a monitoring form. 

Successful applicants will also be required to provide an annual update on ongoing maintenance, photos and lessons learned from planting native hedgerows, so that successful projects may be replicated elsewhere.  

Successful applicants will be required to help communicate and promote The Lake District Foundation’s support. 

For further information, please email [email protected]. We will attempt to reply to all enquiries and may post FAQs on our website. 

Good Luck! 

Apply Now

Complete the online application form here

Contact Us

For support with your application please email: [email protected]  

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