Plans for the large-scale conservation of the Garnock Valley in Ayrshire have been green lit by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The restoration will go from the River Garnock’s source in the Muirshiel Hills to Irvine Bay. The Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership (LP) will conserve habitats across an area of 385km while “creating a better understanding and stronger connections between local communities and the landscape”.
The project has received a first round pass for a grant of £1.5 million, including £150,300 development funding from the HLF.
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said, “Nature lies at the very heart of what makes Scotland special but the enormous pressures upon it mean that we have to approach its restoration and conservation on a bigger scale than ever before.
“The LP programme does just that, and more. What has often already been started on a small scale, National Lottery funding can take forward, bringing real cohesion to the natural and built heritage of a region and reconnecting people with what often lies overlooked on their doorstep.”
Anne McCall, regional director for RSPB Scotland, added, “We’re really delighted that HLF has supported the development of this new landscape partnership project within the Garnock Valley. This area has a rich natural and cultural heritage that is closely intertwined, but it is also threatened by a broad range of pressures.
“By working together within this partnership, and with the involvement of local communities, we hope to develop something that will go on to have a lasting legacy for many years to come.”