Mendip Hills Fund

The Work of the Fund

The Mendip Hills Fund is a community fund set up to conserve and enhance the environment, communities and economy of the Mendip Hills.

It is a partnership between the Mendip Hills AONB Partnership and the Somerset Community Foundation. It is supported by local businesses who have a badge box, visitor-giving schemes and event organisers.

Could your business help by having a badge box on the counter or in reception? Visitors make a donation for each badge and the money goes to the Mendip Hills Fund.

The fund gave £11,000 to local projects last year that help make the area look better and support community groups. An incredible £3,100 has been raised through badge box donations!

For APPLICATIONS or to make a DONATION please go to the Somerset Community Foundation website, call 01749 344949 or visit the Just Giving page.


The Fund is now open for applications from

1 September – 31 October 2019

How to Apply for a Grant

All applications are required to be completed online through the Somerset Community Foundation website. The application form will only be available to access during the application window from 1 September to 31 October each year

If you would like more information on what the application requires please click here for a copy. (PDF Download 318KB).  Please note that this is for information purposes only and you will still need to complete your application using the online system.

A copy of the guidance notes for applications can also be found here. (PDF Download 352KB)

The area covered by the Fund

For a more detailed map of the area please click here.

2018 Project Updates

Darshill & Bowlish Heritage Project

The Darshill and Bowlish Conservation Society is delving into the lost history of the three west Shepton Mallet hamlets of Darshill, Ham and Bowlish. The hamlets were centres of farming and cloth production from medieval times until the turn of the 20th century and made a vital contribution to the local economy.

For the next two years, the heritage project aims to study and understand the physical remains, both the historic and present day environment, and to try and revive something of the lives of the people involved. The initially the project will look at the documentary evidence and carry out surveys of the architectural, archaeological and environmental heritage. During year two, a two-part major outreach programme is planned taking the results of the project into participating local schools to support their curriculum, and into the wider Somerset community through a series of public events.

The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund has provided the bulk of the project budget but needed match funding, the Mendip Hills Fund awarded them a grant of £500. Click here to find out more about this great project visit.

2018 Grants Awarded

  • Stoke St. Michael War Memorial Hall – to make a redundant piece of land more environmentally friendly. £1768
  • Osprey Outdoors – to teach vocational skills through conservation work to long term unemployed. £1000
  • Mendip Mountain Bikers group – to improve trail signage in Rowberrow Forest. £1000
  • Darshill & Bowlish Conservation Society – for their local heritage project. £500
  • Cheddar Community Partnership – for an interpretation panel by the Island Beds in the gorge. £800
  • Cheddar First School – for improvements to their forest school. £2000
  • Chewton Mendip Primary – for equipment to improve and maintain the school outside space. £548
  • Priddy & St Lawrence Schools – to develop their forest school sites. £2000
  • Strawberry Line East group – to buy scythes for maintaining wildlife areas. £732
  • Rickford Community Association – for buying new fruit trees. £619

2017 Grants Awarded

  • East Harptree School Environment Club – equipment; waterproofs, rucksacks, bow saws, waterproof note books, identification books, nets, cameras, clip boards, storage boxes, steel flasks, plastic ID trays, head torches £1288
  • Blagdon Orchard Group – design of a book to celebrate their community orchard. £500
  • St Andrews Church, Blagdon – architects fees for restoration of Grade II Listed lychgate £500
  • Blagdon Primary School – weekly forest school activities £700
  • Osprey Outdoors – conservation volunteering for mental health service users, drug and alcohol rehabilitation clients, long term unemployed £1973
  • Somerset Wildlife Trust – interpretation board for Mascall’s Wood Cheddar £500

How the money is raised

Our Badges

A new Barn owl is now available for a minimum donation of £2 each.

If you are a local business and would like to display one of the boxes to help raise funds please get in touch with us. Email us Mendip Hills AONB or ring 01761 462338

If you are a collector of pin badges and not in the area we can post badges to you and would ask for a donation to the Mendip Hills Fund via the Just Giving page of £2 per badge. Contact us with your postal address


Visitor Giving Scheme  a scheme to raise income for the Mendip Hills Fund through voluntary contributions from visitors, take a look at out Visitor Giving Information Guide for more details.

Current Members

Bath and West Country Walks
Gorge View Cottage
Mendip Outdoor Pursuits
Petruth Paddocks

Event Organisers – donations made from event entries helping to raise income for the Mendip Hills Fund.

Current Regular Supporters

Butcombe Trail Ultra Marathon, Town and Country Harriers
The Big Cheese, Cheddar Running Club
Cheddar Ales
Great Weston Ride
Mendip Muddle, Weston Athletic Club
Mendip Marauder, Albion Running

If you are a local business or an event organiser and would like more information on how to support the fund please contact Jim Hardcastle or Sarah Catling.