Merseyside North Volunteers of Sustrans and the Trans Pennine Trail have bagged a share of a £11.5million carrier bag charge fund

We are delighted to announce we have bagged £12,000 from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative. The supermarket teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative, which saw grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects. Eight million shoppers voted in stores up and down the country. And it can now be revealed Merseyside North Volunteers has been awarded £12,000. The results have been announced and we will now begin work on bringing our project to life.  

Merseyside North Volunteers are developing an area of Sustrans owned land to the rear of Sefton Drive in Maghull for the benefit of the community. This area of land is part of the National Cycle Network that forms route 62 and the Trans Pennine Trail. They bringing together their current volunteers and the local community of all ages and abilities to assist in removing overgrown vegetation, cultivate and develop the area of land into a wildflower meadow with the particular benefit to the bee and butterfly population that is in decline. They would also like to encourage other forms of wildlife by installing bat and bird boxes, hedgehog houses and insect hotels. For the local community this area will be an area where they can visit for pleasure and leisure whilst walking or cycling. For those from the wider community it will also be a resting or turning point on the very popular NCN route 62 of the Trans Pennine Trail. Permanent furniture will be provided for the community and those on their travels to rest a while, storage for the tools and equipment and hospitality facilities to increase the comfort of the community, visitors and volunteers. 

John Callaghan, Merseyside North Volunteer Coordinator states: 
"We want to say a massive thank you for all the support that has been given over the last few weeks.  It's a major boost to our volunteers to be voted for the top award in our area of £12,000.  We have brought together 'The Meadow' project to create a community space where you can visit, sit and relax whilst enjoying the wildflowers and wildlife that are rich and diverse in our area. The area of land is close to Maghullnext to Sefton Meadows Garden Centre and the Recycling Centre and located on the popular cycle route called 'The Cheshire Lines'. This is also part of the longer distance Trans Pennine Trail. I hope through this project to deliver a space and environment back to you and the volunteers. Perhaps you will even be inspired to visit 'The Meadow' during a ramble of cycle ride" 
"We are currently a small group of volunteers that assist in maintaining areas of our local environment that form part of the national cycle network.  The Meadow project is a major step to assisting us with our work that we are passionate about and committed to.  We really want you, the community to be involved.  I would also like to encourage you to volunteer with us as part of Sustrans and the Trans Pennine Trail.  If this is something that is of interest or you or would like more information, please don't hesitate to contact me." 
Caroline Silke, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success.  
“We have been overwhelmed by the response of our customers and the feedback has been brilliant. “We can’t wait to see the money being put to use bringing these projects to life.  “Nominations for the next round of the initiative will open in April and we look forward to helping a further round of groups and projects bag their share of the bag charge fund.”  
Voting ran in store from 27 February until 6 March – with customers choosing which group they’d like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store. Tesco estimated that around eight million votes were cast in stores across the UK. Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said
“We have been delighted to have been involved in the Bags of Help project. “It has been wonderful to follow the projects through the application process to the final announcement. “This is money which will go directly back into the communities up and down the country creating places to meet people, be active, play or simply relax. This initiative is really putting something back into the local environment, transforming greenspaces and helping the community at a grass-roots level.” 
Nominations and applications for the next round of Bags of Help funding will open on April 18. As well as applying direct, suggestions for projects can also be nominated by people living locally. 

For further information about 'The Meadow' project and volunteering please contact: 

John Callaghan 
Merseyside North Volunteer Coordinator for Sustrans and The Trans Pennine Trail. 

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