Threatened plants and wildlife get £1.8m

SIXTEEN projects to save Scotland’s wildlife an plants have been awarded £1.8 million from the Scottish Government’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund.

Schemes receiving cash include Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust’s Endrick Legacy Project, which was awarded nearly £100,000 to tackle a wide range of highly-destructive invasive species, including Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed, American mink and American signal crayfish.

More than £100,000 has been given to the Tweed Forum to restore a previously straightened part of the Little Yarrow tributary of the River Tweed, creating a meandering river channel within a 12 hectare floodplain.

In the Clyde Valley, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) – which received nearly £90,000 – will work with landowners to improve the survival rates and breeding sites of upland wading birds of global concern, including the lapwing, curlew and oystercatcher.

Francesca Osowska, chief executive at Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “As lockdown conditions lift, green recovery projects like the Biodiversity Challenge Fund put nature, and nature-based solutions, at the heart of rebuilding our economy.

“But it’s not just about conservation – enriching our nature is also part of the solution to the climate emergency too.”

Read more conservation stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.