Lotto boost for conservation projects

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Over £400,000 is being awarded to initiatives in the Northern Isles and Cairngorms. 

9th January 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Two projects aiming to protect Scotland’s wildlife have been given the go-ahead thanks to funding from the National Lottery. 

Shorewatch, run by marine charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation, will receive £190,400 from the lottery’s Heritage Fund to extend a scheme to monitor threatened species around the Northern Isles.

The programme will involve around 180 volunteers who will collect vital data about the movements and feeding patterns of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the area. This data will be used to influence conservation planning and development decisions to ensure the protection of marine species.

Funding of £224,300 is also being invested in the Cairngorms National Park, home to rare wild plants such as the twinflower, which is at serious risk of extinction.

Plantlife will empower citizen scientists to take action to save the flower and many other species across the park through an ambitious programme of grassland and meadow restoration and targeted reintroduction schemes.

Caroline Clark, director Scotland of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said the funding would help equip a new generation of conservationists to “make a real difference for the future of our natural world”.

Katie Dyke, Shorewatch policy officer, added: “Whales, dolphins and porpoises are facing a number of threats in UK waters, but it is not too late to make a positive change. Creating a connection with the ocean and these incredible creatures is key to empower communities to protect them.

This National Lottery Heritage Fund grant will not only allow us to collect vital data to better understand how species use the waters around the Northern Isles, but it will allow us to work closely with local committees and nurture an education, connection and love for these amazing creatures we are lucky enough to be able to watch from our coastline.”

 Alistair Whyte, head of Plantlife Scotland, said: “The Cairngorms are home to some of our rarest and most threatened wild plants. This National Lottery Heritage Fund grant will allow Plantlife Scotland to work with local communities to make a real difference for these amazing species.

“This project will help us turn around the fortunes of Highland specialities like twinflower, one-flowered wintergreen, and a whole host of other rare plants.”