A shot taken partially submerged in the ocean, showing both the landscape and sky above the waterline and a range of seaweed below it

Nine environmental community projects across Scotland share in £126,000 Crown Estate Scotland funding

24 April 2024

Grants to help support a wide range of environmental improvement projects have been given to communities across Scotland. 

The money will enable local people to take a hands-on approach to improving their local environment by supporting a varied range of practical ideas.  

Increasing biodiversity by planting more native trees, creating new habitats for wading birds, removing dangerous invasive plant species along riverbanks, installing eco-friendly electric vehicle charge points, and creating new community orchards are just some of the initiatives that will benefit from the Crown Estate Scotland grants.  

The Environment Grants form part of the Sustainable Communities Fund which has, since being established in 2020 by Crown Estate Scotland, distributed more than £1.4m to support local regeneration and sustainable development.  

One previous recipient of an Environment Grant is the Communities Housing Trust in Skye, which received £20,000 to help renovate the disused Borrodale School and create six new homes.

This short film highlights the transformation which the grant has helped bring about. Click here to watch the film.

The latest successful Environment Grant recipients are:  

  • Three Hares Woodland (Midlothian) - £12k. Support for a woodland management project, Japanese knotweed removal, and installation of a secure bike rack at the entrance to the woodland, encouraging sustainable travel and attract new visitors.
  • West Lothian Angling Association (West Lothian) - £20k. Project to treat invasive, non-native species (INNS) plants and enhance the water quality of the River Almond. This will contribute to restoring the river's habitat, making it cleaner and safer for communities.
  • A & S Jardine (Applegirth, Dumfries & Galloway) - £19k. Planting trees and hedgerows to improve existing wildlife corridor and encourage biodiversity and native plant growth.
  • Lower Mill of Tynet Farm (Fochabers, Moray) - £20k. Installation of a biodigester for cattle and poultry waste, promoting sustainability and reducing the farm’s environmental impact.
  • Broadford and Strath Community Company (Isle of Skye) - £18.5k. This will fund a community tree nursery project focusing on native trees, contributing to biodiversity and climate change mitigation, and encouraging community involvement.  
  • Tighnabruaich District Development Trust (Argyll & Bute) – £1.5k. Control of Japanese knotweed (an invasive non-native species plant) infesting the foreshore in the villages of Tighnabruaich and neighbouring Kames.
  • Scouts Scotland (Argyll & Bute) - £11k. Installing electric vehicle (EV) charging points at the Scouts Adventure Centre in Lochgoilhead to encourage use of electric vehicles in the area.
  • RSPB Scotland (Alloa/Glasgow) - £5.5k. Creating scrapes - shallow depressions in fields - to benefit wading birds and roosting opportunities in Skinflats Nature Reserve (Alloa) and Newshot Island (Inner Clyde).
  • Craignish Lagoon Moorings Association / Seawilding (Argyll & Bute) - £20k. Introducing ‘eco moorings’ – which don’t rely on a traditional anchor – as an alternative to traditional moorings. This should benefit seabed health and biodiversity and inform other seagrass restoration projects.

The Environment Grants - of between £5,000 and £20,000 - are available to Crown Estate Scotland tenants for projects which can deliver demonstrable environmental benefits within 18 months of funds being given.    

Along with the Community Capacity Grants programme – open to all communities within five miles of Scotland’s coastline or situated within one of Crown Estate Scotland’s four rural estates – these funding programmes from Crown Estate Scotland provide money to help communities develop projects of greatest priority to them.  

Danny Renton, Chief Executive of Seawilding, said “The award of this Environment Grant from Crown Estate Scotland to help further our seagrass restoration research is vital if we are to restore this important marine habitat at scale. The grant will enable us to upskill our volunteers in seagrass surveying techniques, install an eco-mooring, and help us identify optimum sites for seagrass restoration at Loch Craignish in 2024. It's great news for community-based seagrass restoration efforts in Scotland!"  

Annie Breaden, Head of Policy for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “The breadth of projects which have secured funding demonstrate the flexibility of the Environment Grants programme and highlights the ingenious ways people across Scotland are tackling the challenges they want addressed.  

“Now in its fourth year of awarding grants, the Sustainable Communities Fund has distributed more than £1.4m since 2020, supporting positive change projects to improve and protect Scotland’s environment.”  

Applications for the next round of the Sustainable Communities Fund will open in August 2024.   

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