Grants of up to £500 are available for any group of volunteers in Scotland carrying out practical environmental improvements and wildlife habitat creation in their local green spaces from now until November 2017. The grants, funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, are part of The Action Earth campaign, run by national charity Volunteering Matters.
This year Volunteering Matters is encouraging active communities to participate in habitat creation, building ‘New Homes for Scotland’s Wee Five’.
Robert Henderson, Volunteering Matters Action Earth, said:
“We would like all 2017 applicants to build or install at least one wildlife habitat as part of their project. The new ‘homes’ will cover the ‘Wee 5’ of Scotland’s wildlife with instructions on how to build bird boxes, bat boxes, frog hibernacula, hedgehog boxes and bee/insect homes on Action Earth’s website.”
Groups of volunteers can apply for a Volunteering Matters Action Earth grant to help them care for and maintain their local green spaces. The campaign is especially keen to hear from projects whose work benefits disadvantaged communities. Previous projects have included wildflower meadow creation, pond renovation, woodland improvements and establishment of community gardens.
Volunteering Matters Action Earth campaign is funded by SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage) and offers easy to access grants of up to £500. These grants help volunteers across Scotland to carry out essential improvement work and wildlife habitat creation in local green spaces, especially groups in urban areas or in places with reduced local amenity.
Sue Walker, acting chair of Scottish Natural Heritage said:
“We are delighted to continue supporting Action Earth during 2017. Last year, 173 projects benefitted from this small grant funding, and over 8000 volunteers were involved in improving biodiversity in their community. We are really looking forward to hearing about the improvements to local green spaces that happen this year, for the benefit of people and nature. “
“Action Earth makes a real difference by encouraging people to take an active interest in nature and their communities. By improving local greenspace and connecting people with nature, Action Earth projects are helping to deliver the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity.”
The first project to be awarded a 2017 Action Earth grant is Shettleston Community Growing Project a volunteer led organisation in South Glasgow. They are a community hub, transforming formerly derelict and poisoned ground into a shared learning area of bio-diverse environments for everyone to enjoy. Their Smelly Welly After-School Club for young children will be renovating and planting up a pond for Frogs and Newts while older volunteers will be repairing and constructing raised beds with new tools purchased.
Any group of volunteers can apply for Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants of between £50-250 to run environmental activities in Scotland’s green spaces. This could include creating or improving community gardens, wildflower meadows, ponds or woodlands.
Local Nature Reserve (LNR) grants of up to £500 are also available for volunteer activities taking place on LNRs such as wildlife recording or protecting and enhancing biodiversity.
This year half the grants will go to activities in Scotland’s most deprived areas.
Priority will go to applications from volunteer groups who do any of the following:
• Work in areas where there is substantial social or economic deprivation
• Improve and develop the health and wellbeing of their local community
• Involve disabled people, vulnerable people or those at risk of exclusion
• Encourage and involve people under 26 in practical outdoor conservation
Also considered will be applications that make a major environmental impact or involve mass participation.
For more information and hoe to apply visit Action Earth Volunteering Matters