A project to restore freshwater pearl mussel habitat in a tributary of the Shin catchment will be a recipient of the Scottish Government’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund. On the Shin catchment we are conducting a freshwater pearl mussel habitat restoration project – this will involve mitigating for adverse anthropogenic impacts by adding gravel substrate and large wood structures to sections of the river which have been deprived of an input of gravel sediment, which is great habitat for freshwater pearl mussels and spawning salmonid fish.
Investment in a ‘green recovery’ is understood to be the most cost effective way of making our communities and our nature sustainable and more resilient, while driving inclusive economic development.
The Biodiversity Challenge Fund specifically encourages applicants with projects creating transformational change to increase the biodiversity and environmental value of land and sea, with a focus on habitats and species, and supporting green skills, training and jobs where possible. Through this approach, successful projects from this third round of funding will contribute to the green recovery as we emerge from Covid-19 and work towards a nature rich future.
This project is one of 12 successful projects across Scotland to share the additional £2million committed in this round of the Biodiversity Challenge Fund, taking the overall Fund investment to £6.4 million. The projects will take practical steps to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity.
The Biodiversity Challenge Fund adds to the many millions of pounds of Scottish Government funding delivered through the Scottish Rural Development Programme and other sources to support biodiversity and help to deliver Scotland’s Biodiversity Strategy.
NatureScot Chief Executive, Francesca Osowska, said:
“During lockdowns people around the world have valued the direct physical and wellbeing benefits of nature. More than ever before, people are starting to understand fully and support powerful arguments to put nature at the heart of our emergence from this crisis.
As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, investment in a ‘green recovery’ is understood to be the most cost effective way of making our communities and our nature sustainable and more resilient, while driving inclusive economic development.
“This year new global targets to improve nature will be agreed at a Conference of the Parties in Kunming, China (COP15). Alongside COP26 on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland has a huge opportunity to address the many challenges and pressures that nature is facing. Nature is at the heart of what we do, and we will continue to deliver the transformational change needed to bring a nature-rich, sustainable and more economically secure future for Scotland.”
This project is supported by the NatureScot Biodiversity Challenge Fund.