AROUND 150 projects across Scotland have received support from the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund since its launch in 2021.
More than £30 million has been invested to date, either directly to projects and community groups or through Scotland’s 32 local authorities and two National Parks.
The flagship fund, administered by NatureScot, aims to restore species and habitats, protect marine and coastal areas, eradicate invasive, non-native species, and improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.
Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater visited the Pentland to Portobello Greening Project to see works completed with support from the Nature Restoration Fund. The project received a grant of £201,556.42 to improve, connect and expand existing green spaces in mostly deprived areas of Edinburgh.
Ms Slater said, “I’m proud that since establishing the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund at COP26 in Glasgow we’ve already invested £30 million in projects large and small to protect and enhance our rivers, land and seas. This is making an important contribution to the goals established in Scotland’s new Biodiversity Strategy to be nature positive and to reverse the declines in nature.
“Right now, we’re consulting on the first 5-year delivery plan to implement our biodiversity strategy – along with proposals for new targets for nature restoration that could be put into law, in line with those for climate change. Biodiversity can help mitigate against flooding, improve access to greenspace in our urban areas: it is our best chance to adapt to climate change and ensure a legacy for future generations.”
NatureScot Chair Professor Colin Galbraith said, “The Nature Restoration Fund is vital in tackling the nature and climate crises, with significant work taking place across the country to help put nature back on the road to recovery. Flower meadows, hedgerows and wetlands are being restored, creating habitats for wildlife. Rivers are being returned to their natural courses to reduce flooding, whilst large areas of Scotland’s rainforest are being enhanced. We are incredibly proud to support the work that individuals, communities, and organisations are doing to help Scotland become a nature-rich, net-zero nation.”