Projects to restore Scotland’s natural environment in line for share of £12.5m

A western capercaillie in the Scottish Highlands

PROJECTS to restore Scotland’s natural environment are to benefit from funding of £12.5 million in 2022-23, the Scottish Government has announced.

Grants of up to £250,000 will be given to projects that seek to aid the recovery of species, woodlands and rivers, as well as work that helps improve the health and wellbeing of communities.

Previous projects to have benefited from the fund include the Forth Rivers Trust project on the River Almond in West Lothian, which involved a range of restoration works to improve historic issues.

The Scottish Government’s biodiversity minister, Lorna Slater, said, “Scotland’s natural environment is already heavily degraded, and wildlife is in decline here just as it is across the world. In the face of this crisis, we are redoubling our efforts to protect species and restore nature across Scotland, and working with nations across the world to accelerate global action.

“The nature restoration Fund will play a big role in delivering these positive changes by supporting longer-term, larger scale projects across Scotland – on land and at sea – that address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. Over this parliament we will invest at least £65 million through the fund, delivering real change that people and nature will benefit from across the whole country.

“It’s part of our wider £500 million investment in Scotland’s natural environment, with funding for the restoration of peatlands, woodlands, and other natural habitats.”

Francesca Osowska, NatureScot CEO, added, “If we want to secure a ‘net zero, nature positive’ future for Scotland then we must act now to repair the damage done to our land and seas by decades of degradation. Through the Nature Restoration Fund, we can support vital work to address the biodiversity and climate crisis by putting Scotland’s species, woodlands, rivers and seas back on the road to recovery.

“This is Scotland’s largest ever fund for nature and a vital opportunity to take positive action now and halt nature loss.”