Nine landscapes in the UK are to be preserved thanks to £21million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, it has been announced.

A grant of £2.58million will go to Lough Neagh, in Northern Ireland, which is the UK’s largest freshwater lake, while another for £1.9million has been set aside for the Humberhead Levels, which cover north Lincolnshire and south Yorkshire to help prevent the area drying out.

Other landscapes to benefit include Coigach and Assynt, in north-west Scotland, where pathways, blanket bogs and heath moor will be restored; the New Forest, where the landscape will be restored and partnerships developed between “commoners”, landowners and the wider community; Ingleborough Dales, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park; the North York Moors; the Rusland Valley and Fells in the South Lake District National Park; the Derwent Valley in north-east England; and East Wight, the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight.

Drew Bennelick, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s landscape and natural heritage, said this year’s schemes demonstrated a need for “urgent conservation work” as well as “reconnecting communities to these places”.

He said: “The UK’s amazing countryside is under ever-increasing pressure and we must act now to make sure it continues to be one of our greatest assets.” The fund is part of the Landscape Partnership programme, which has already received more than £160million worth of investment over the 10 years it has been running. For more information on it, or other funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, visit www.hlf.org.uk.