The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Scottish Natural Heritage have launched the Biodiversity Challenge Fund (BCF) with funding of up to £2m to support large-scale projects which will improve the health and resilience of the natural environment.
The first year of the fund is now open, with up to £1m of investment available in 2019/20.
Successful projects must show how they will address the key challenges faced by the UK’s landscapes and nature, including how they will reconnect people with nature, develop skills that create new sources of income and create better-connected and more resilient habitats for nature.
Since 1994 the Lottery has invested £1.6bn in landscape and nature projects, including over £950m in urban parks and cemeteries.
Riona McMorrow, Acting Head of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Scotland, welcomed the new Fund: ‘Thanks to funds raised by players of the National Lottery and the launch of the BCF, organisations and community groups involved in the care of our natural environment will now have access to more funding opportunities.
‘Nature is a top priority for The National Lottery Heritage Fund and by collaborating with Scottish Natural Heritage, we can ensure that Scotland’s landscapes and species get maximum benefit from our investments, conserving precious places and species while making the great outdoors accessible for many more people to enjoy.’
In October, a £10m ‘Future Parks Accelerator’ initiative was launched by the NLHF and the National Trust which aims to secure the future of urban parks and green spaces.
It will enable up to eight local authorities and communities to develop and implement ‘bold and innovative’ funding and management solutions for all their green spaces across, against what they called a challenging backdrop of financial uncertainty.