Natural Environment Minister Mairi Gougeon joined primary school children from St Margaret’s Primary School in Montrose for the launch of a blue carbon citizen science project, led by University of St Andrews and the Scottish Government’s Blue Carbon Forum (Monday 2 December). 

The Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (RIC) project has won a UK National Parks Volunteer Award. TV presenter and explorer Paul Rose presented project officer Gabrielle Flinn with the award at the Kendal Mountain Festival in November.  The awards were sponsored by Columbia Sportswear.

People and projects across the country that are doing their best to save nature were celebrated at the recent Nature of Scotland Awards 2019.

Nine awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Sheraton Grant Hotel in Edinburgh hosted by wildlife cameraman and TV presenter Gordon Buchanan and BBC Scotland radio and TV presenter Euan McIlwraith. 

News from Auchinleck Community Development Initiative

The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is now open for applications.

Help and funding is available for communities, charities, local authorities, housing associations and rural businesses looking to install renewables and get local energy projects up and running.

The Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere (WRB) recently welcomed the Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve (RMBMU) from Quebec, Canada to learn more about employing social economy strategies.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) will rebrand to 'NatureScot' next year.

The national nature agency will rebrand on 1 May 2020, in plans to adapt the organisation to meet current environmental challenges.

NatureScot will continue to prioritise restoring and enriching our biodiversity with an ambitious programme of activity including:

Living Seas - multi-purpose vessel
Name of organisation/business: 
Scottish Wildlife Trust
Total project costs: £26,922.63; FLAG funding: £15,126.07

The date for the next Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF) Project Assessment Committee (PAC) has been set for Tuesday 4 February 2020.

If you are interested in applying you should visit the Rural Payments and Services website for full information including the latest guidance to be followed when applying. The KTIF scheme is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme. 

The Scottish Farm Land Trust are running a crowdfunding campaign to employ a development worker.

The Scottish Farm Land Trust aims to increase access to land for small-scale, ecological agriculture. They'll do this by acquiring land to be held in trust and rented fairly to new entrants and young people.

Their crowdfunding campaign aims to raise £10,000 to employ a development worker to progress this idea. At the moment the Scottish Farm Land Trust is entirely volunteer-run.