Money raised from unrecycled waste dumped at Blackborough End tip is going to benefit valuable habitat at East Winch Common.
The grant of £39,224 was awarded to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s work on the common by the Veolia Environmental Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF).
The grant supports a programme of targeted improvement works, which will include tree thinning and installing the infrastructure needed to introduce ponies alongside sheep grazing the site.
Any rubbish that is thrown away and cannot be reused ends up in a landfill site.
Operators of landfill sites collect tax on each tonne of landfill. The purpose of this tax is to make it more expensive to put waste into landfill, in turn encouraging us to reduce our waste and recycle more.
A small proportion of this tax, currently 6.8 per cent, can be used to support a wide range of environmental projects near landfill sites).
Through the LCF – of which Veolia’s trust is a member – more than £1 billion has been invested in UK projects.
The common is one of the largest surviving remnants of the extensive heathland that once covered large areas of West Norfolk.
The common comprises wet heath, acidic ponds, dry heathland and grassland, and important species at the site include emerald damselfly, marsh gentian, nightjar, woodlark and round-leaved and oblong-leaved sundews.
The head of nature reserves at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, John Milton, said: “The heathland has reduced in size due to encroachment of birch and oak scrub.
“By improving the wet heath on the common through mature birch thinning, and by erecting fences to facilitate grazing, species such as nightjar and woodlark will be provided with a more favourable habitat in which to live and hopefully breed.
“Additionally, this project will allow key wetland species such as marsh gentian to be conserved through active management.”
Norfolk Wildlife Trust chief executive, Brendan Joyce, said: ““We hope to recruit volunteers from the local community to assist with the care and management of the grazing animals.”
Paul Taylor, executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, said: “This grant is a great example of how the Trust and the Landfill Communities Fund make a real difference to landscapes and habitats of all types across the UK.
“Every project is important to us and we look forward to seeing work start and the improvements take shape.”