Nature Restoration Fund - How to Apply

January 2024

There has been a tremendous response across Scotland to harness the opportunities provided by the NRF.  You can view the Nature Restoration Fund story map to see the range of projects supported across Scotland.

We are currently accepting applications to NRF for development projects and for one year delivery projects from April 2025 (up to one year). NRF is not currently accepting delivery projects with capital spend in financial year 2024/25.

Further funding to support demand for delivery projects may become available and any updates will be posted on this page.

Nature Restoration Fund

The Nature Restoration Fund has two streams, Helping Nature, for grants of £25,000 to £250,000 and Transforming Nature grants of £250,000 upwards, including development projects.

Helping Nature funding is available for grants of £25,000 to £250,000 for activity lasting up to 24 months from the start date of the project however all activity must be completed by the end of March 2026.

Transforming Nature funding is available for grants of £250,000 upwards for single or multi-year projects however all activity must be completed by the end of March 2026. Transforming Nature – Development grants are also available, please note if you wish to apply for Transforming Nature – Delivery funding, following a development project, that all projects can only be delivered up to the end of March 2026.

Submit an Expression of Interest

We are currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Helping Nature and Transforming Nature streams.

Nature Restoration Fund – Expression of Interest

You can submit an EOI when you are ready to do so. Please consider in advance which application deadline, as noted below, you are planning to apply for. We would strongly recommend that you submit an EOI significantly in advance of an application deadline so you have time to consider our feedback before you progress to an application.

We aim to respond to your EOI within 20 working days. If you submit an EOI within 20 working days of an application deadline, as noted on our website, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to respond in time and you should wait for the next application deadline to apply. 

EOIs are a mandatory requirement for applicants. However, if you have received NRF Transforming Nature – Development phase funding you do not need to submit an EOI to apply for Delivery phase funding and can proceed straight to application stage, please contact [email protected] to request an application form. Please note securing NRF development phase funding does not guarantee a successful NRF delivery phase application. 

If you are not invited to submit an application following feedback from your EOI, you should wait at least 3 months before submitting another EOI for the same project. This does not exclude you from submitting another EOI for a different project within that timeframe.   

You should read the guidance below before submitting your Expression of Interest form to [email protected].

Information for Applicants and Priorities for Action are key guidance documents with detailed information on the fund.

Outcomes and eligibility

The draft Scottish Biodiversity Strategy defines clear priorities for the NRF and the impact we want projects to deliver.  The NRF currently focuses on broad priority themes, which will be further refined on publication of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy later in 2023. We would advise all applicants intending to submit an application following the launch of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy to ensure they have read the strategy when it is published and consider how your project proposal aligns with the priorities.

We are keen to encourage and support partnership projects. These will be required to make the transformational changes needed to restore nature at the required scale and pace to achieve our biodiversity targets across our land, freshwater and seas by 2045.

The priority themes are:

  • Habitat and species restoration: Management for enhancement and connectivity
  • Freshwater restoration, including restoration of natural flows in rural catchments
  • Coastal and marine initiatives which promote restoration, recovery, enhancement or resilience
  • Control of invasive non-native species (INNS) impacting on nature
  • Urban: Enhancing and connecting nature across, and between, towns and cities.

Climate change makes all factors more significant in impact. All project proposals must demonstrate how the project will help to address climate change and/or its impacts.



If you have any questions on the application process or the fund, please email [email protected] in the first instance.

We may adjust the process or documents in response to feedback from applicants.  For version control purposes, changes or updates will be clearly marked on the website.  It is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure the most up-to-date versions are used at the time of submission. 

Header image - Photo credit - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

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