Breathtaking :

A landscape 250 million years in the making

Grants & Funding

When it comes to looking after the environment and enhancing quality of life, globally or locally, success depends on everyone doing their bit and contributing to sustainable ways of living and working.

Our Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) aims to help and encourage local projects, big and small, that will explore and develop ideas that bring social, environmental and economic benefits to our AONB communities.


Every year we give support to individuals, groups, organisations and businesses who are passionately involved in projects that create sustainable, happy, thriving communities.

The fund has enabled a wide range of projects including wildlife initiatives, school projects, restoring village features and supporting local festivals.

If you are involved with a project that could benefit from funding, read our frequently asked questions to find out if your project might qualify. 

SDF Funding FAQs

What is the East Devon AONB Sustainable Development Fund?
The Sustainable Development Fund provides discretionary financial support to local initiatives and projects that can demonstrate a commitment to enhancing our local area.

What kinds of projects does the fund support?
Projects must demonstrate support and involvement of communities, business or
environmental interests within the AONB. The fund has enabled a wide range of projects to be delivered including wildlife initiatives, school projects, restoring village features and supporting local festivals.

Do projects have to be based within the East Devon AONB?
Applicants do not have to be located within the East Devon AONB, but must be able to demonstrate a tangible benefit to the AONB and deliver AONB Partnership Plan objectives.

Is there a maximum amount that can be applied for?
The maximum level of grant that can be applied for is £4,000

Will the SDF fund projects in full?
For all projects applying to the SDF fund a ‘percentage contribution’ is required. The percentage level differs depending on who ‘owns’ the project.

  • For charities or community groups, up to 60% SDF of the project total is available
  • For business applicants, up to 40% SDF contribution is available
  • A minimum of 10% cash match is required for all projects
  • In kind contributions (time/labour/machinery use etc) can be considered. The levels per hr/day will be in line with those accepted by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

When can we apply?
Due to restrictions arising in response to coronavirus and the unforeseen impact on both projects and administration, applications for grants will be accepted from 1 July through to 30 November 2020 (applications are now closed). You can apply at any time between these dates, but your project must be financially complete by 1 March 2021.




To make an application to the Sustainable Development Fund you’ll need to read the supporting information provided on this page, then follow the process below (applications for 2020 are now closed):

  • Download our Application Form
  • Complete the form with help from our Guidance Notes
  • Refer to our relevant Management Plan policies
  • Complete the Sustainability (SDF) Checklist
  • Email completed application form to the East Devon AONB
  • Post a signed copy, along with your completed checklist, to: Pete Youngman, East Devon AONB Partnership, Kennaway House, Coburg Road, Sidmouth EX10 8NG

Supporting Information

Guidance Notes

Detailed guidance notes for Sustainable Development Fund applications. What you need to consider and how to complete the application form.

Sustainability Checklist

A checklist to help guideSustainable Development Fund applications and evaluate how a project meets the criteria for funding.

Management Plan Policies

Applications must refer to the management policies we use when promoting and enhancing the social environmental and economic well-being of the AONB.

Next steps

Once we have received your application it will be judged by a panel of five countryside and wildlife specialists and you may be able to get approval in as little as four weeks. The funds can be processed quickly on suitable invoice evidence and we can make arrangements to pay in stages if practical.

Need more advice?

For an informal chat about your project and eligibility for funding, contact our project officer Pete Youngman.

Call 01404 310012 or email

Alternatively you can submit an ‘expression of interest’ form and we’ll get back to you.

More to Explore

East Devon AONB Projects

We lead, partner and support projects that focus on a wide range of themes, including landscape and heritage, environmental quality and climate, biodiversity, recreation and tourism.

Outdoors & Active

Whether you prefer walking, cycling, running or playing, everyone feels happier and healthier when they spend time in nature being more active. 

East Devon Way

Discover the hidden gems of East Devon and explore this much loved walking route that links 40 miles of public footpaths, trails and bridleways.