Government announces £12.5m fund to protect Scotland’s biodiversity

The annual Nature Restoration Fund opened on Wednesday.

Government announces £12.5m fund to protect Scotland’s biodiversity iStock
Scotland: Projects that protect the country's biodiversity are set to benefit from a £12.5 fund.

Projects that help to restore Scotland’s natural environment on land and at sea are set to benefit from a £12.5m funding pot.

The annual Nature Restoration Fund – which aims to combat the negative effects of climate change and biodiversity loss – opened on Wednesday and will help the country’s species, woodlands, rivers and seas get back on the road to recovery.

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.

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 £65m through the fund, delivering real change that people and nature will benefit from across the whole country.

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

Previous schemes that 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.

Francesca Osowska, NatureScot 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.

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

For more information and how to apply for this year’s funding, click here.