ScottishPower grants conservation funds

Phil Duffield from Scottish Power Foundation (centre) meets Trees for Life volunteers (left-right) Sam Manning, Grace Burger, Emily Warner and Rebecca Schmidt at Dundreggan Conservation Estate
Phil Duffield from Scottish Power Foundation (centre) meets Trees for Life volunteers (left-right) Sam Manning, Grace Burger, Emily Warner and Rebecca Schmidt at Dundreggan Conservation Estate
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With £20,000 provided by the ScottishPower foundation, conservation charity Trees for Life are helping students from Aberdeen University and Glasgow University learn new conservation techniques

Students at Scottish universities aged between 18 and 25 and with an interest in conservation have the chance to strengthen their employability and develop new skills with environmental charity Trees for Life.

The creation of 70 new one-week or long-term volunteering opportunities has been welcomed by Alan Watson Featherstone, executive director of the award-winning charity.

He said: “This generous grant from ScottishPower Foundation is excellent news for the Caledonian Forest and its rare species, and for dozens of young people who will be able to study and carry out practical hands-on conservation work – including the establishment of native woodlands and managing land for wildlife.

“The funding will enable us to make our project accessible to the widest range of young people – particularly those facing disadvantages and financial barriers to participation.”

Based at Dundreggan Conservation Estate near Loch Ness, conservationists will plant native trees to develop existing woodland habitats. Seeds will be nurtured in a specialised tree nursery, with biodiversity surveys also carried out by the volunteers.

To date, Trees for Life volunteers have helped to plant over one million trees at locations throughout the Scottish Highlands. The chatiry has also created 10, 000 acres of new forest and has pledged to generate an additional one million trees by both human and natural means in the next three years.

Ann Loughrey, Trustee and Executive Officer at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to supporting community programmes that inspire young people to get more out of life, whilst giving something back to their local community.”

Trees for Life has received many awards for their efforts in Scotland, including the 2012 Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Enviroment Award and the 2013 RSPB Nature of Scotland - Outstanding Contribution to Nature Award.