News

Garnock Connections secures Heritage Lottery Fund award

The Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership which brings together communities and projects across North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire has been awarded £1.35m by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

 

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Garnock Connections is a suite of 25 projects that will restore a network of wildlife habitats and historic sites across the landscape, as well as encourage local people to become involved through public engagement opportunities.

The initiative will be coordinated by the Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership, which is made up of RSPB Scotland (lead partner), North Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) acting as an advisory body.
Read more here www.garnockconnections.org.uk/news

 

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East Ayrshire’s restored peat bogs celebrated

The results of restoration work carried out at Low Moss in 2017 as part of the CEI’s Nature Network and EcoCoLIFE projects are now being enjoyed by locals and visitors.

An event took place to help raise awareness of the importance of healthy peatlands. The guided walk was organised by the East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative (CEI) to celebrate the United Nations World Water Day and was opened by East Ayrshire’s Depute Provost Claire Leitch.

Low Moss is a small raised bog situated next to the former Duncanziemere opencast coal mine. It is one of five sites the CEI has been working on across East Ayrshire and so far a total of 479 hectares of peat bog has been restored.

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CEI Project Officer Gemma Jennings said “The theme of this year’s World Water Day is ‘Nature for Water’ – looking at how protecting nature can help us solve water challenges. The CEI has been ‘re-wetting’ peat bogs damaged by historic land management practices such as drainage and burning so we decided to mark World Water Day with a trip to one of our recent restoration sites – Low Moss.

“Restoration brings about many benefits – peatlands are capable of storing large volumes of water so help prevent flooding and are great for filtration, improving the quality of water entering our rivers. Healthy peatlands also store carbon, which would otherwise be released as carbon dioxide, and therefore play a major role in combating climate change. A damaged peat bog on the other hand will release carbon, thus contributing to climate change.

“In terms of wildlife, our peatlands are home to an array of unique species from the carnivorous sundew plant to adders and short-eared owls. We want to raise the profile of these wonderful, wild places and encourage people to appreciate peatlands and why it’s so important to look after them. World Water Day provided an opportunity to recognise the value of East Ayrshire’s peatlands and was great to see so many people turn out on the day.”

The Depute Provost Claire Leitch said “We’re all aware that many human activities are a threat to our environment, and how everything we do can have an impact on our natural environment in a way which affects us all. Today’s walk was truly inspirational – an example of human activity contributing to the restoration of healthy ecosystems which can only benefit us and future generations.

 

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“To see all these volunteers, experts and organisations working together to actually reverse damage and provide a safe haven for so many species and a wonderful area for the community to enjoy is something of which we should all be very proud. We know that we owe it to our young people to look after the planet and after having met many young people who are passionate about both the environment and areas we live, I know it’ll be in good hands.”

The CEI’s work is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, East Ayrshire Council, and with the contribution of the LIFE+ financial instrument of the European Community. To find out more about the CEI’s projects, events or volunteering opportunities please see www.ea-cei.org.uk or contact CEI Project Officer Gemma Jennings: gemma.jennings@ea-cei.org.uk.

 

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CSGN Development Fund 2018/19 is now open for applications

Projects across the central belt can bring environmental and health benefits to their areas by bidding for a share of a £400,000 fund.The 2018-19 round of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund will offer investment to projects promoting active travel, woodland planting, community growing and restoring land. Since 2010 £6.3 million has been invested in more than 180 projects.

 The CSGN Development Fund is managed by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, with funding provided by Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.

The closing date for CSGN Development Fund applications is 5pm, Monday 5 February 2018.

Download the Application Form and Guidance here:

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Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire

Ayrshire LEADER’s Local Action Group (LAG) is embracing a pioneering new concept in fundraising called #Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire.

The LAG has partnered with Crowdfunder to provide a dedicated on-line platform for local groups, organisations and businesses based in rural Ayrshire to help them raise money, awareness and support using the power of the crowd.

In addition, the LAG may also make financial pledges to projects of up to a maximum of £5,000, where they meet the Programme criteria and have raised half of their on-line crowdfunding target. A total of £250,000 is available for this purpose.

If you are part of a rural community or have a businesses that wants to deliver projects that will foster business and enterprise, connect people and places, promote tourism, culture and local heritage or open up opportunities to access the natural environment, this initiative could be right up your street!

A similar scheme by Plymouth City Council placed £90,000 of funding into crowdfunded projects. In total these have raised more than £500,000 across the city via the partnership.

Chris Savage, Chair of the Ayrshire Local Action Group said: “It’s fantastic to be working with the committed team at Crowdfunder and to be at the forefront of ground-breaking rural development in the UK”.

Claire Monaghan, Head of Communities at South Ayrshire Council said: “As Accountable Body for the LEADER Programme, the Council is delighted to be working with the Ayrshire Local Action Group as it innovates in rural Ayrshire. We are excited about our communities sharing the social and economic benefits of #Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire as this initiative takes off.”

For more information about #Crowdfund Rural Ayrshire and how to get involved contact the LEADER team on 01292 616655 or visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ayrshire-leader

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CSGN Community Project Fund 2017

Central Scotland Green Network has launched the Community Project Fund 2017 to support community projects working to improve their local greenspace.

The £40,000 Community Project Fund – supported by £30,000 funding from the Greggs Foundation and £10,000 from Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) – will provide one-off grants of up to £1,000 to support small-scale greenspace initiatives and to foster community engagement in maintaining and enhancing the local environment.

The fund aims to increase community use of local greenspace, particularly within disadvantaged communities, which will have a positive impact on the quality of life for local residents.

At least 40 grass-roots projects will receive funding through the initiative and these can range from conservation and educational schemes, such as developing a safe natural learning space for children, community gardens for local groups to tend, and biodiversity activities such as planting and improvements to ponds and wetlands to protect local wildlife.

Woodland arts activities and feasibility projects can also apply for the funding, as well as any other new and innovative ideas which engage local communities.

Groups can apply for funds up to £1,000 for projects carried out within the CSGN boundaries.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Monday 1 May 2017.

For further information and eligibility criteria please visit the CSGN website.

 

 

 

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