Projects to help the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss by restoring Scotland’s natural environment on land and at sea are set to benefit from further funding in 2022-23.
On January 14, 2022, the annual Nature Restoration Fund opened to provide £12.5 million ($14.27 million USD) for projects that help Scotland’s native species—as well as its woodlands, rivers and seas—back on the road to recovery, all while revitalizing the health and wellbeing of local communities.
Francesca Osowska, NatureScot’s CEO, said “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,” she added. “This is Scotland’s largest ever fund for nature and a vital opportunity to take positive action now and halt nature loss.”
Habitat and species restoration, coastal and marine protection and eradication of invasive non-native species are among the types of projects that can apply for grants of up to £250,000.
Previous projects to have benefitted from the fund include the Forth Rivers Trust project on the River Almond in West Lothian. The project carries out a range of restoration work to improve historic issues and engages communities with their local rivers.
Scotland’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,” she continued.
“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,” Slater concluded.
The first round of the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund was announced in July 2021 and 54 successful projects have been awarded funding.