Mairi Gougeon, Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment. ©Lorne Gill/SNH.  For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

Nature fund announced - £1.8m given to biodiversity projects

16 June 2019

14 projects across Scotland have been confirmed as the first recipients of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund, sharing a total of £1.8 million over a two-year period.  

The projects will take practical steps to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity.

Biodiversity is all the different types of animals, plants and other organisms in our natural world. People know that climate change is a big issue but not as many know that 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 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.

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon visited a newly funded project - The Wild Line – in Edinburgh. The Wild Line is a strip of wilderness that edges the land and the sea which has become increasingly narrow due to urban development. To boost nature and resilience to climate change, a network of species rich wildflower meadows to provide habitats for pollinators will be created. On shore retrofitting artificial habitats will enhance sea defences and protect people and nature against sea level rises providing homes for intertidal species, and invasive species, which outcompete native ones, will be removed.

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon said: “I am delighted that, through the Biodiversity Challenge Fund, the Scottish Government and SNH 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.”

SNH Chief Executive Francesca  Osowska said: “Nature loss is one of the key drivers of climate change – 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.”  

BACKGROUND:

The aim of the Biodiversity Challenge Fund is to enable targeted action for priority habitats and species, accelerating efforts that will help Scotland meet its international biodiversity commitments.

Fulfilling a commitment in the Programme for Government, SNH will administer investments of around £1.8 million over the next 2 years on creating and improving habitats for key species and encouraging increased access to nature.

The fund is supporting projects that are:

  • Ideally large in scale and will make a demonstrable impact
  • Seek to address the drivers of biodiversity change and action preferable focused on causes rather than symptoms
  • Make connections on the ground and link actions and/ or projects, increasing resilience in those habitats most at risk.

LIST OF PROJECTS:

Applicant

Project Title

Location

Local authority

Buglife Scotland

Central Scotland B-Lines

Central Scotland

Falkirk / Edinburgh / East Dunbartonshire

/ South Lanarkshire

Trees for Life

Carn na Caorach Montane Woodland Enclosure

Highland

Highland

RSPB Scotland

Curlews in Crisis Scotland

Caithness and East Ayrshire

Highland / East Ayrshire

Borders Forest Trust

Restoring Montane Scrub and Bearberry in the Wildheart of Southern Scotland

Borders

Scottish Borders / Dumfries & Galloway

St Andrews Botanic Garden

St Andrews Green Corridors

Fife

Fife

Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust

Little France Park

Lothian

City of Edinburgh

Glasgow City Council (on behalf of the Seven Lochs Partnership)

Seven Lochs and Cumbernauld SpRiNT

Glasgow City

Glasgow City / North Lanarkshire

The Froglife Trust

Come Forth for Wildlife

Falkirk

Falkirk

Scottish Canals

Greening Pinkston Basin

Glasgow

Glasgow City

Dee Catchment Partnership

Easter Beltie Restoration Project

Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire

Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust

Partnership working to enhance three key freshwater pearl mussel populations in the north, south and west of Scotland.

Across Scotland

Dumfries & Galloway / Argyll & Bute / Highland

Dee District Salmon Fishery Board

Dee Riparian Habitat Project

Rivers Dee & Don

Aberdeenshire

Tweed Forum

Tweed Invasives Project

River Tweed

Scottish Borders

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Edinburgh Shoreline – The Wild Line

Lothian

City of Edinburgh / East Lothian