The Scottish Government’s annual Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot, funds projects that help Scotland's species, woodlands, rivers and seas, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of local communities. These projects will take practical steps to help against the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and restore Scotland’s natural environment.
Organisations granted funding include The Crail Community Partnership – to re-wild a former airfield at South Kilminning by turning tarmac into a wet wildflower meadow. It has received £209,041.
Meanwhile, Seawilding – to expand the existing seagrass meadows in Loch Craignish, leading to improvements in biodiversity, fish stocks, carbon storage, and coastal erosion prevention has been given a grant of £200,946.
The Spey Catchment Initiative gets £80,215 to install 80 to 100 large natural woody structures within a 3.6-mile stretch of the upper Spey to improve in-stream habitats, which will benefit fish and river ecology and reduce flood risks. The work will also boost climate change resilience by creating cooler refuge areas to help aquatic life cope better with the threat of rising water temperatures.
Lockett Agri-Environmental is awarded £39,150 to create a wet woodland by diverting an artificially straightened watercourse back to a natural course spreading throughout the woodland.
It is the second year of the project, in 2021, 54 projects were awarded funding. The Scottish Government announced an expansion to the Nature Restoration Fund in 2021, committing at least a further £55m over the next four years, with at least £12.5m annually.
Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater said: “We know that transformative change is needed in order to protect and restore terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity in Scotland. That’s why we established the £65 million Nature Restoration Fund for projects that help Scotland's species, woodlands, rivers and seas.
“These diverse, innovative projects are already bringing benefits across the country - not only to the environment, but also to the health and wellbeing of local communities.
“The Nature Restoration Fund is just one of the ways we are demonstrating our commitment to tackling biodiversity loss and restoring nature for future generations. Later this year we will publish an ambitious new biodiversity strategy which aims to halt biodiversity loss by 2030 and reverse it by 2045.”
Francesca Osowska, NatureScot CEO, added: “We are all now more aware than ever before of the urgency of the climate change emergency. But there is hope. By restoring nature, protecting and enhancing habitats and safeguarding marine life, we can secure a better future for nature and for ourselves.
“Scotland is taking action now to meet the huge challenges and pressures that nature is facing; it is individual projects like the ones funded today that will make the difference and set us on the road to recovery.
“Climate change needs nature-based solutions, not only to help us reach net zero by 2045 but also to create a healthier, more resilient Scotland.”
For a full list of all 46 projects, see the NatureScot website at www.nature.scot.