Nature fund awards £5m to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change

Projects to restore areas of the Cairngorms National Park are among the first recipients of the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 8:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 8:37 am
The funding will help improve habitats in the Cairngorms National Park.
The funding will help improve habitats in the Cairngorms National Park.

In the first round of funding awards, announced by NatureScot, a total of £5m will be shared between 54 projects from all over Scotland to restore nature, safeguard wildlife and tackle the causes of climate change.

Among the successful recipients are Cairngorms National Park Authority who will use the funds to restore the Dee and Don catchment, with a further £10,700 to improve habitats as part of the ambitious Cairngorms Connect project.

The Nature Restoration Fund supports a range of urban, rural, marine and coastal focused projects to address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. The £10m fund was launched in July this year and has now been extended to a total of at least £65m over the next five years.

Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater said: “Too much of Scotland’s natural environment is degraded after years of over-exploitation, but this Government is committed to restoring nature and our wildlife. The Nature Restoration Fund will play a big role in delivering these aspirations, and the projects we are funding today are just the beginning. The Fund kick starts a new approach, supporting longer-term, larger, landscape-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.”

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “COP26 in Glasgow has driven home the urgency of the situation we are all facing. But there is hope. By restoring nature, protecting and enhancing habitats and safeguarding marine life we can look forward to a nature-positive future.

“Scotland is taking action now to meet the huge challenges and pressures that nature is facing and it is projects like these that will make the difference and set us on the road to recovery.

“Climate change needs nature-based solutions, not only to help us reach net zero by 2045 but to create a healthier, more resilient Scotland.”