Restoring tower is among cash awards

By Becky Hallewell RESTORING a Martello tower and clearing weeds on a canal are just two of the causes benefiting from awards totalling £238,000.The Essex Environment Trust has given funds to 21 projects in the county, contributing to both buildings and nature.

By Becky Hallewell

RESTORING a Martello tower and clearing weeds on a canal are just two of the causes benefiting from awards totalling £238,000.

The Essex Environment Trust has given funds to 21 projects in the county, contributing to both buildings and nature.

A total of £20,000 was awarded to the Chelmer Canal Trust to help pay for the removal of pennywort weed from the waterway, an ecological hazard threatening fish and plant life.


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The same amount will help Essex County Council restore the Martello tower in Jaywick, an historic monument originally built to defend the shores against Napoleonic invasion in the early 19th Century.

The threatened building will cost £670,000 to repair, and is destined for future use as an arts centre and lookout-post for the National Coastwatch Institution.

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Essex Environment Trust chief executive, Keith Derry said: "Once again the trust has been able to put its funding towards some really worthwhile projects that contribute to saving major aspects of our environment, be they ecological or parts of our built heritage.

"I feel that the significance of this threat by pennywort to Essex waterways and subsequently to waterways in the rest of the country is a potential national ecological problem rather than a local issue."

Other local causes to benefit from grants include Black Notley Parish Council, which gets £10,000 to help it buy and develop land as a nature reserve, and St Mary the Virgin Church, Little Dunmow, which gets the same amount for repairs.

St Nicholas' Church, Little Braxted, a Grade I listed building with historic wall paintings of national renown, stands to receive £15,000 for renovations, while a playground in Bicknacre gets £10,000 for new equipment.

An award of £4,675 goes to White Colne Parish Council to help it create a public open space with woodland and pond, while village hall roofs in Earls Colne and Alresford will benefit to the tune of £10,000 and £6,572 respectively.

St Nicholas' Church in Harwich will get £5,000 for repairs, the Methodist church hall in Dovercourt receives £1,000 for disabled toilets and access, the United Reformed Church in Chelmsford is awarded £2,500 for disabled access and the Jewel Garden in Messing receives £875.

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