Environment

Record numbers of volunteers took part in research expeditions organised by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust last year, helping to launch a new year-round programme of monitoring marine mammals and basking sharks in the Hebrides. 

The Scottish Government has published a new strategy to ensure the country's nature is protected and restored with flourishing biodiversity.
 
By 2045 the strategy will help to transform Scotland and secure the wellbeing of the environment and biodiversity by restoring nature and ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change. This will mean Scotland:

Rural projects that protect the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change will share £34 million.

A total of 472 businesses will benefit from the latest award of Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) funding, which promotes environmentally friendly land management practices and looks to protect and enhance Scotland’s natural heritage.

This brings the total committed to rural businesses under AECS since 2015 to more than £211 million, benefiting almost 3,000 applicants.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

A new report from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) shows considerable progress was made in 2019 to help bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has announced funding for a new programme to support farming's contribution to meeting Scotland's climate change ambitions. 

The Scottish Government has started early engagement on the development of Scotland's fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4).

The National Planning Framework is a long term plan for development and investment across Scotland.

An upcoming Scottish Rural Action conference will kick start a 'rural movement' to make rural Scotland's voice heard.

Representatives from rural Scotland's communities, businesses and organisations are invited to attend the free event taking place from 26 to 27 February at New Lanark Visitor Centre, the renowned world heritage site.

To celebrate Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has launched a new community fund.

The £150,000 Plunge In! The Coasts and Waters Community Fund offers a range of grants from small pots for schools and youth groups to awards of up to £10,000.

The fund is currently open for applications for community-led ideas that will engage and connect more people with our seas, coasts, lochs, rivers, streams and wetlands, as well as their unique wildlife.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently launched the Scottish Charity Awards 2020, encouraging organisations from across the country to apply. 

The annual awards are organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and celebrate the fantastic work that charities and community groups do every day to help those in need and raise awareness of important causes. 

YouthLink Scotland has launched a new small grants programme to support young people to take part in Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

The Scottish Government-funded programme will make grants available to local groups and organisations offering informal learning opportunities for young people to explore the nature, history and culture of Scotland’s lochs, rivers, shorelines and waterways.

A total of £45,000 is available.

The closing date for applications is 1pm on Friday 14 February 2020.

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