Call for communities in Scotland to apply for environmental grants

10 May 2023

Partner press release - Volunteering Matters

The Action Earth campaign, run by national charity Volunteering Matters, has launched to help support communities to participate in outdoor environmental volunteering. Projects can apply now to the campaign, which NatureScot funds.

Nature is in crisis, and we face a climate emergency. Last year, we completed 134 successful projects, helping restore and protect environments to deliver a ‘nature-rich’ future for all.

Volunteering Matters Action Earth offers easy-to-access grants of up to £250 for environmental activities across Scotland. This year, we have 132 nature awards for any group of volunteers carrying out practical environmental improvements or wildlife habitat creation in local urban spaces. Previous projects have included wildflower meadow and pond creation, woodland and wetland renovations, bird and bat box siting, and creating or improving community gardens. 

We are also keen to support projects working with people with disabilities, defined health issues, or barriers to involvement. From last year’s 134 projects to benefit from Action Earth grant funding, over 3,325 volunteers were involved in improving biodiversity in their community – 1,100 of them having disabilities and/or defined health issues. 

The campaign is also keen to hear from projects whose work benefits disadvantaged communities, especially in urban areas and in places with reduced local amenities. 45% of volunteers in 2022 were from areas in the lowest 20% of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. 

2023 Marks the 20th anniversary of Volunteering Matters and NatureScot’s partnership to help communities make positive local change. NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska says:  

“The Action Earth campaign is a brilliant way for communities to make space for nature and protect local greenspaces, native wildlife and habitats – in turn, helping tackle the nature and climate crises. I encourage groups to apply and look forward to lots of exciting projects this year.” 

For those looking for inspiration for their projects, the Volunteering Matters Action Earth website has instructions on how to build bird boxes, bat boxes, frog hibernacula, hedgehog boxes, and bee/insect homes. NatureScot also has many tips to help nature this spring through its Make Space for Nature campaign.

More information is available and applications can be made NOW at the Volunteering Matters Action Earth website.