Green projects around Britain have been boosted by £40 million in Government grants to create 2,500 jobs and help plant one million trees.
Ninety charities will benefit from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund across 600 sites, from North Northumberland to Cornwall.
Among the projects being backed are a wetland conservation group in Somerset, Chester Zoo and a charity that plants trees across major cities.
Tony Juniper, Natural England chair, said: “Our environmental and conservation charity sector does an incredible job in protecting, improving and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of communities and the economy.
“Having begun my environmental career back in 1984 working on a Government-funded project comparable to those being announced today, I know from experience how this fund will be able to help a new generation of passionate young environmentalists take the first few steps in their careers.
“I can think of fewer more important investments in our future than that.”
This is the second round of funding of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, with winners from the first round being announced in October 2020.
It is delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission, and applications are open to environmental charities and their partners.
One of the winning projects is Bringing the Buzz Back to the City, run by Urban Green Newcastle and Northumberland Wildlife Trust, which will use the £697,800 they have been awarded to create 45 nature sites.
The project aims to plant 2,500 trees, 25,000 bulbs and create 18 hectares of grassland while organisers will also offer traineeships to young offenders, and work closely with schools.
Chester Zoo will be given £990,500 for their project Chester Zoo Nature Recovery Corridor. The money will help restore wetlands, grasslands and wildflower meadows, and aims to help 12,000 people from deprived areas have better access to nature.
They will also offer youth traineeships and community volunteer schemes.
Charity Trees for Cities, which has planted more than one million urban trees since 1993, will receive £1,229,600, which they will use to plant 55,000 trees across 83 coastal locations. Similarly to other projects, Trees for Cities will offer training opportunities to young people between the ages of 16 and 24.
Sir William Worsley, Forestry Commission Chair, said: “This funding will help deliver thousands more trees and help us achieve our target of trebling tree planting rates in England by the end of the Parliament.
“We need to work towards net zero emissions by 2050; to address biodiversity loss; to better connect people with nature; and to create more green jobs in doing so.
“Trees are central to this and the projects being awarded these grants will have a hugely important role in helping us realise these objectives.”
The move comes as part of the Prime Minister’s 10 point plan to tackle climate change and create a more greener society.