Peatland Action - Guidance - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Peatland ACTION is restoring Scotland's peatlands.
We have grouped our frequently asked questions to help potential applicants into the following groups: preparing your application, understanding the site, information and data, eligibility and what we will fund, and where to get further guidance and help,
Preparing your application
Where can I get help with my application?
Our Project Officers can support you to develop your project and guide you on how best to complete the application form fully. This will include advice on your spatial data, peat depth and peatland condition survey, The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (2015), and our procurement requirements. You’ll also need to consider any environmental sensitivities and any licences, permissions or consents for your project at an early stage. This includes Permitted Development Rights for peatland restoration schemes, which came into force from 1 April 2021. You must discuss your project with a Project Officer and as early as possible (including if you are interested in a Feasibility Study). Please email [email protected] and we’ll arrange for one of the team to get in touch with you and if necessary, arrange a site visit.
I intend to submit several applications. Will this be possible?
Yes, however, we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible, particularly where phased project work is required. We would also expect you to tell us as early as possible, if you plan to submit multiple applications. Please also tell us about the links between the different projects for which you are applying for funding. The fund is competitive and applications are assessed on their merits and funds available. Please submit your applications to [email protected].
I intend to submit a large scale multiyear proposal. Will this be possible?
Yes, we are now welcoming large scale multiyear proposals, for which we will, where appropriate, make multiyear offers. Where you have identified a multiyear programme of work you should schedule activity into discrete projects that can be delivered and costed within each financial year (1 April to 31 March). Please note that all approved activity must be completed in accordance with the schedule of works and by the project end date stated in any Funding Offer. This schedule cannot be revised without prior approval, in writing, from the Peatland Action Funding Officer.
My neighbour is also keen on restoring their peatland. Can we submit a joint application?
Yes, we encourage collaborative approaches providing we have received separate, signed agreements from all parties involved and you have nominated a project lead to manage the grant.
When will I know if I have been successful in getting funding for my project?
A Funding Officer will assess your application. Timescales for a decision will vary depending on demand. It may take longer to make a decision if your application does not contain all the information we need. We will prioritise assessments based on their potential contribution to Peatland Action outcomes, as well as track record in delivery of previous works with our funding, where applicable. Your Funding Officer will tell you when we expect to be in a position to inform you of our decision.
Once the assessment is complete and we have agreed to make you a Funding Offer we will agree a start date with you and a draft offer will be emailed to you for review. We will not issue a Funding Offer until we have received tender documentation confirming the project costs and have finalised our decision. Once the terms and conditions within that draft offer have been agreed, your Funding Officer will then issue a final Funding Offer and any additional paperwork that you may be required to complete e.g. bank details form. You must not start work until you have received and accepted a final Funding Offer from us.
Understanding the site
How do I assess vegetation and habitat condition as part of my application?
Guidance on how to assess vegetation and habitat condition is available in the Peatland condition assessment guide.
How do I carry out a peat depth and peatland condition survey?
A peat depth and peatland condition survey is now needed before restoration work starts. In future, you will need to provide it with your application. If you don’t yet have one, you must discuss your plans with a Project Officer who will be able to assist you. Please email [email protected] and we’ll arrange for one of the team to get in touch. Peat depth and peatland condition: survey and recording form guidance is available on our website. Please use the current templates; they have been updated.
Why do you need information on deer and/or stock management in the application form?
We require information on deer/livestock numbers, density, and usage in relation to all proposed restoration sites. This is to help make sure that our investment in peatland restoration is secured in the long-term. There is less likelihood of achieving successful peatland restoration on heavily stocked/ used sites.
Can I undertake peatland restoration work during the bird breeding season?
All wild birds enjoy legal protection and our peatland restoration and breeding birds guidance sets out a protocol that all parties involved in peatland restoration are required to follow to ensure that they stay within the constraints of the law.
Information and data
What are spatial data?
When we refer to spatial data, we mean the information that identifies the location, size and shape of your restoration site, the features to be restored (e.g. drains, gullies, bare peat), the site based restoration activities (e.g. dams, re-profiling, bare peat planting, mulching) and your access routes to the restoration site. Spatial data for your restoration project is stored in a digital data format. You must submit spatial data for your restoration project with your application. You must get in touch with us to confirm your spatial data is suitable for application purposes. Please email [email protected] and we’ll arrange for one of the team of Project Officers to get in touch.
How do I compile and submit spatial data and information?
We require your spatial data to be provided to us in a compatible format. We have developed a standard data structure for all spatial data associated with Peatland Action projects. This includes GIS project packages, shapefiles and spreadsheet templates. A spatial data glossary, technical information guide and reporting templates can all be found on our website.
I don’t have access to GPS or GIS for mapping purposes, can you help?
If you don’t have access to GPS or GIS for mapping purposes, we may be able to arrange for one of the team to carry out any mapping on your behalf. You must discuss this with a Project Officer as early as possible before you submit your application. Please email [email protected] and one of the team of Project Officers will get in touch.
Eligibility and what we will fund
Are there priority/target areas for Peatland Action funding?
No, each application will be assessed on its individual merits. We want to see a wide geographical spread across Scotland.
I have previously received funding for peatland restoration through SRDP; can I also apply to Peatland Action for additional work?
Applicants can seek support for some activities that would have been eligible through AECS. In relation to FGS, we may consider limited funding by exception under certain circumstances, but these will largely depend on the nature of the work and/or whether it is likely to offer value for money to the public purse. Please refer to our Fund eligibility criteria, on our website.
Is there funding available for consultant, project management or agency fees under Peatland Action?
Where there are likely to be consultancy, project management or agency fees incurred as part of any project we will assess each application based on its merits and in terms of overall cost effectiveness.
Can Peatland Action fund capital items e.g. *fencing, gates, stock-bridges*?
This will largely depend on the nature of the work and/or whether it is likely to offer value for money to the public purse. We may consider limited funding by exception under certain circumstances. Please refer to our Fund eligibility criteria, and our Outcomes and priorities for action guidance notes on our website.
* Please note that these items will require state aid assessment, which is the responsibility of the applicant.
What’s state aid?
We are not able to support certain kinds of activity that are considered to be state aid (this is where a private individual or company might receive public funds to carry out what is considered to be an operation with commercial advantage). If you are unsure about state aid issues, you can visit Scottish Government’s state aid - guidance for more information.
What we won’t fund?
We won’t fund application preparation costs, activities considered to be state aid, contingency costs, event catering and the use of helicopters (under most circumstances). Please also refer to our Fund eligibility criteria, and our Outcomes and priorities for action guidance on our website for a full list of what we won’t fund.
Can grant monies be used for land purchase?
Only in exceptional circumstances will we fund land purchases through Peatland Action.
How long is the term of the grant?
Site improvements/restoration must be maintained for 10 (ten) years from the date of any final funding payment.
Will Peatland Action pay for monitoring equipment?
Only where the monitoring equipment forms part of a project that meets the objectives of the Peatland Action Monitoring Strategy and funding is not available from other sources. The Monitoring Strategy is available from a Data Officer at [email protected].
Where to get help
Please visit our Peatland Action website for further information, guidance notes and templates referred to in this document, including:
- Eligibility, information for applicants, procurement requirements, application form
- Spatial data templates and guidance
- Peat depth and peatland-condition survey guidance and recording-template
- Peatland Action restoration and The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 – information for applicants
- Terms and Conditions
- How to acknowledge our support for your project
- Guidance for grant applicants – financial information and records
The following email addresses tell you where you can get support with your Peatland Action application(s) and delivery of your restoration project:
To get in touch with a local Project Officer to discuss your restoration project or if you are interested in a feasibility study.
To submit your application and for funding offers, progress reports and claim forms, final reports or to request changes to your project; you can also get advice on procurement for your project.
To discuss the Peatland Action Monitoring Strategy.
To discuss your project communications materials.