Coastal restoration project awarded over £200,000 to help wildlife habitats
Local wildlife is set to get a boost over the next 18 months as the University of St Andrews teams up with local landowners on an ambitious programme to restore a network of wildlife habitats along the Fife coast.
Collaborating with a range of partners including Fife Council, Kinkell Byre, Abbeyford Leisure, Forest & Land Scotland, Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews Botanic Garden, local farmers and estate managers, the University will support action at 30 sites along the coast. Activities include planting trees and hedgerows, creating wetlands and meadows, restoring dunes and introducing conservation grazing to manage coastal grassland on part of the coastal path at Craig Hurtle south of East Sands beach.
Managed by NatureScot, the Helping Nature fund is an element of the Scottish Government’s flagship £65 million Nature Restoration Fund. The fund supports practical nature restoration projects with grants of £25,000 to £250,000. In this latest round of awards, the University of St Andrews was one of 27 projects to have been offered grants totalling £4.1 million.
University of St Andrews Quaestor and Factor Derek Watson acknowledged the impact this funding will have on local biodiversity.
He said: “The awarding of this grant will greatly support the restoration of habitat stretching from Motray Water at Guardbridge to Cambo Estate near Kingsbarns. The University recognises that supporting nature requires us to work together with partners to create a network of habitats for wildlife to flourish. This grant enables us to build on the previous good work our grounds staff have undertaken at the University and support our neighbours.”
Experts from St Andrews Botanic Garden will be undertaking design work to ensure the new habitats will support biodiversity whilst looking good. Students, staff and local residents will be encouraged to support the project through regular practical volunteering opportunities that include tree planting and meadow management.
NatureScot Chair Professor Colin Galbraith said:
“Through the Nature Restoration Fund, we can support vital work to restore Scotland’s species and habitats back to being healthy, vibrant and thriving.
“Now more than ever, we need nature-based solutions to the climate-nature crises. It’s projects like this that can really help to stop biodiversity loss and enable us to move towards a nature-rich, net-zero future for everyone in Scotland.”
The Nature Restoration Fund helps to restore species and habitats, protect our marine and coastal areas, and eradicate invasive, non-native species, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of local communities. These projects are taking practical steps to help against the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss and restore Scotland’s natural environment.
See NatureScot’s website for a full list of projects that have been offered NRF Helping Nature funding this year.