Biodiversity restoration funding on offer in Scotland
Funding is on offer for landowners in Scotland who want to implement projects which will restore biodiversity and prevent the spread of invasive, non-native species.
Around 150 projects across Scotland have already received a share of more than £30 million in support from the Nature Restoration Fund since its launch in 2021.
The fund, administered by NatureScot, is currently open to new Expressions of Interest.
It has two streams: Helping Nature, which offers grants of £25,000 to £250,000 and Transforming Nature, which is for larger, more ambitious projects, and provides grants of £250,000 upwards.
Applications are being sought which:
- Halt the decline of pollinators and increase habitat for amphibians, mammals and birds at risk by making more space for native flower-rich habitats and grassland, streams, extended hedges and field margins, native trees and ponds.
- Support changes in management to favour diversity of species and habitat structure at a landscape/large-scale level.
- Adopt nature-based approaches to managing key ecosystems such as the uplands.
- Involve effective species recovery, reintroduction and reinforcement programmes that are targeted to restore important groups and concentrations of species.
- Prevent the establishment and spread of invasive species into new areas of land, rivers or at sea. The species of most concern include Rhododendron, Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam and American skunk cabbage.
There is a rolling schedule of deadlines for Expressions of Interest which are as follows:
- Monday 29 January 2024 at 12 noon for a decision in late April/early May
- Thursday 25 April 2024 at 12 noon for a decision in July
- Monday 12 August 2024 at 12 noon for a decision in November.
As the latest State of Nature report showed that one in six wildlife species in Great Britain is at risk of extinction, funding like this is much needed and goes some way in halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity.