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Airfield to be transformed into wildflower meadow with share of £5m funding pot

A former airfield at South Kilminning in Fife will be turned into a wildflower meadow (PA)
A former airfield at South Kilminning in Fife will be turned into a wildflower meadow (PA)

A project to turn a former airfield into a wildflower meadow is among dozens sharing in almost £5 million awarded to initiatives tackling climate change.

Cash from the Scottish Government’s annual Nature Restoration Fund has been awarded to 46 projects to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species, and boost biodiversity.

They include the Crail Community Partnership, which is receiving £209,041 to rewild a former airfield at South Kilminning in Fife by turning Tarmac into a wet wildflower meadow.

Elsewhere, Seawilding has been awarded a grant of £200,946 to expand the existing seagrass meadows in Loch Craignish, Argyll and Bute, which will lead to improvements in biodiversity, fish stocks, carbon storage, and help prevent coastal erosion.

The Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot, is now in its second year and funds projects that help Scotland’s species, woodlands, rivers and seas, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of local communities.

Seagrass meadow
One project will expand seagrass meadows (NatureScot/PA)

Francesca Osowska, NatureScot chief executive, said: “We are all now more aware than ever before of the urgency of the climate change emergency. But there is hope.

“By restoring nature, protecting and enhancing habitats and safeguarding marine life, we can secure a better future for nature and for ourselves.

“Scotland is taking action now to meet the huge challenges and pressures that nature is facing; it is individual projects like the ones funded today that will make the difference and set us on the road to recovery.

“Climate change needs nature-based solutions, not only to help us reach net-zero by 2045 but also to create a healthier, more resilient Scotland.”

Other projects receiving funding include the Spey Catchment Initiative, which has been awarded £80,215 to install 80 to 100 large natural wood structures within a 3.6-mile stretch of the upper Spey river.

woody structure
Natural wood structures will be placed in the upper Spey (ScotlandBigPicture.com/PA)

This will improve habitats, which will benefit fish and river ecology and reduce flood risks.

The Scottish Government announced an expansion to the Nature Restoration Fund last year, committing at least a further £55 million over the next four years, with at least £12.5 million annually.

Biodiversity minister Lorna Slater said transformative change is needed in order to protect and restore terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity in Scotland.

She said: “These diverse, innovative projects are already bringing benefits across the country – not only to the environment, but also to the health and wellbeing of local communities.

“The Nature Restoration Fund is just one of the ways we are demonstrating our commitment to tackling biodiversity loss and restoring nature for future generations.

“Later this year we will publish an ambitious new biodiversity strategy which aims to halt biodiversity loss by 2030 and reverse it by 2045.”