TOE wants to hear from people with ambitious, single-site projects that can make a real difference to biodiversity in Oxfordshire.
Check if we have any offsetting funds currently available near where you want to run a project.
Read our guidance on eligible projects. Funds are for habitat creation or improvement only.
Get in touch to discuss your opportunity. We can offer advice and guide you though the process.
We maintain running totals of available offsetting funds at the top of this page. These totals are adjusted as we receive new funds and offer grants to successful applicants.
People may apply for part or all of the funding available.
If no eligible funds are currently on offer, please contact us and register potential sites and projects anyway. We may match these with funds in future.
Projects under £10,000 may also be considered via our main fund.
How to apply
First, read the detailed funding criteria below and consider getting in touch for an informal chat about your project. We can offer lots of advice and support for suitable applicants.
When you feel ready to submit an application, follow the link below for complete guidance on applying for TOE grants.
Offsetting grants are specifically for habitat creation or improvement. This may be achieved though capital works, changes in land use and management, and land purchase.
Funded projects must have a 25-year management plan.
We want applicants who can use the full amount on offer to deliver outcomes at receptor sites near the development being compensated for, and always within the same local planning authority.
Projects will be assessed against our usual grants criteria and their ability to deliver a minimum number of biodiversity units, the calculation used to quantify habitat quality and quantity.
Please note that applications for suites of connected projects in the local area aren’t normally eligible. Ambitious, single-site projects are preferable.
Projects with additional elements not covered by offsetting funds, such as access works, may consider applying for match funding from any of our eligible main fund grants to help with these extra costs.
See funding criteria below for more details.
As with all TOE grants, biodiversity offsetting funds are open to not-for-profit organisations including voluntary groups, Parish Councils, charities and Community Interest Companies.
Local Authorities such as County and District Councils may also apply for grants, but TOE generally prefers applications to be submitted by local community groups or charities.
Private landowners may also be eligible in certain circumstances. Please contact us to discuss further.
General criteria for biodiversity funding:
Improve the overall biodiversity of habitats including woodlands, ponds, rivers, meadows, green spaces and the wider countryside.
Improve breeding or habitat conditions for particular species, e.g. planting nectar rich plants for bumblebees.
Expand the biodiversity resource within the 36 Conservation Target Areas (CTAs).
Detailed criteria for offsetting funds:
Make a significant contribution to the attainment of habitat targets highlighted in a one of the 36 Conservation Target Areas (CTAs).
Make important links between existing priority habitats within CTA’s.
Restore significant areas of existing priority habitats within CTA’s.
Make a significant contribution to maintaining or increasing the populations of priority species within CTA’s.
Make a significant contribution to increasing the population of priority species or areas of priority habitat outside of the CTA’s. This can involve habitat works aimed at providing conditions suitable for populations of priority species.
Extend, link, buffer or protect nationally or locally designated sites outside of the CTA’s. These include Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Local Nature Reserves (LNR), Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) and ancient woodland. Projects should be aimed principally at extending the area of the habitat and buffering it from the harmful effects of other land uses.
Provide significant habitat enhancements to habitat networks within the vicinity of the impact site.
Demonstrate additionality, specifically a net gain in biodiversity that can be calculated as an offset against losses.
Involve the purchase of land to secure a site for the longer term; this includes land with limited biodiversity value but potential for better management which will lead to biodiversity gain and deliver the required biodiversity units.
Useful links for applicants
Further information on CTAs and NERC Act S41 Habitats of Principal Importance (previously called BAP priority habitats and species) is available from Wild Oxfordshire.
Guidelines on landscape character and biodiversity down to the Parish level can be found at The Oxfordshire Wildlife and Landscape Study (OWLS).