Forestry and woodlands
Over 200 people recently attended events on the new Environmental Co-operation Action Fund in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
The Environmental Co-operation Action Fund is a new £10 million scheme which is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). The purpose of this new competitive fund is to encourage the development and delivery of landscape scale environmental projects by paying facilitators to initiate and enable co-ordinated environmental actions on multiple land holdings in a project area.
Expressions of Interest are currently being accepted for the Making Local Woods Work project.
Making Local Woods Work is being led by the Plunkett Foundation in partnership with other organisations to help support and grow woodland-based social enterprises across the UK.
Views are being sought on the future direction of the Cairngorm and Glenmore area of the Cairngorms National Park.
A 14-week public consultation has launched with the aim of developing a long-term strategy for the management of the publicly-owned land in this area.
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the draft Land Use Strategy 2016-2021.
The ten-week consultation seeks views on the future of land use, with the aim of getting the most from Scotland's land in an integrated and sustainable way.
A range of policies and proposals are set out including:
The rural charity RSABI has launched its 2015/16 Help for Heating Fund.
Fixed grants of £300 are available to anyone with a background in farming, crofting, forestry, horticulture, fish-farming, game-keeping and rural estate work, who is in fuel poverty (when a household has to spend 10% or more of its income to maintain acceptable levels of warmth) and meets RSABI criteria for receiving financial help.
RSABI Welfare Manager, John Macfarlane, who oversees the Help for Heating Fund said:
The Scottish Government is hosting a series of workshops to discuss the Environmental Co-operation Action Fund and to answer questions about the scheme.
These free workshops will include general queries and, if you are thinking about applying, questions on eligibility, priorities, and project proposals with a view to encouraging high quality applications.
A new initiative offers crofters free advice and support for creating and managing woodland.
The Croft Woodlands Project aims to help create 500 hectares of new woodland on croft land by 2020 by overcoming the barriers identified in the 2014 review of crofter forestry, including difficulties with funding and cash flow.
Scottish Rural Action have announced that the first Scottish Rural Summit will take place on 24 November in East Lothian.
This event will bring together invited representatives from the public sector, rural communities and others to look at opportunities for rural Scotland to be empowered, connected and sustainable.