Biodiversity Project awarded £157k Nature Fund cash
15 August 2019
A Dunbartonshire project to create high quality urban green spaces for both people and wildlife has been confirmed as one of the recipients of NatureScot’s (NatureScot’s) Biodiversity Challenge Fund.
Buglife Scotland has been awarded £157,000 for its Central Scotland B-Lines project to create a coast-to-coast network of special places for nature.
Central Scotland B-Lines will create 100 hectares of wildflower habitat across 50 urban sites, connecting East Dunbartonshire, South Lanarkshire, Falkirk and Edinburgh, helping pollinators to move freely through towns and cities.
As well as bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects the project will benefit a range of other wildlife, from birds to bats and other small mammals. The wildflower sites will also become attractive places for people to visit, to unwind and get close to nature. Local community groups will take on ownership of each site. The project includes training in areas such as managing and monitoring of local sites, and how to increase habitat connectivity across the Central Belt.
Suzanne Burgess, Buglife’s Scotland Manager, said: “We’re delighted that our ground-breaking, landscape-scale project has received this funding from NatureScot. We’re now really looking forward to working with our partners, fantastic volunteers and local communities in Dunbartonshire and the other project areas to try and halt the decline in Scotland’s vital pollinating insects.”
Along with climate change, nature – and biodiversity loss – is also a global and generational threat to human well-being. However, enhancing our nature is also recognised as being part of the solution to the climate emergency.
The project is one of 14 successful applicants across Scotland to share the £1.8 million Biodiversity Challenge Fund over a two-year period The funding will support large-scale projects that aim to deliver rapid change on the ground to help our most at-risk habitats and species, including mammals and birds, connect existing nature reserves and tackle non-native invasive species.
Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, announced the awards while visiting one of the successful projects in Edinburgh. She said: “I am delighted that, through the Biodiversity Challenge Fund, the Scottish Government and NatureScot can support these fantastic projects across the country to safeguard some of our most vulnerable species and habitats, and protect them from invasive species. Their success will play a crucial role in our efforts to improve nature and help Scotland meet its international biodiversity commitments.”
NatureScot Chief Executive, Francesca Osowska, said: “Climate change is one of the key drivers of nature loss – but it’s not too late to act. In fact, improving nature is also one of the solutions to the climate emergency.
“There are five areas we need to focus on to improve biodiversity – restoring our habitats, changing our use of the land and sea, reducing pollution and climate change and tackling invasive non-native species. These projects will improve nature across Scotland for all our benefit.
“We know we have a big task before us but we have been working for years with our partners to meet international nature targets. We are ready to deliver the transformational change needed to bring a nature rich future for Scotland.”