SNP MSP for South Scotland, Joan McAlpine, has welcomed news that Dumfries and Galloway will benefit from a new £1.8 Million Biodiversity Challenge Fund to help support at-risk habitats and species in local forests and coastal areas.

Delivered through Scottish Natural Heritage, the fund will support large-scale projects across Scotland that aim to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity.

2 of the 14 projects to have secured funding over the next two years will operate in Dumfries and Galloway. The two projects, which both deal with restorative work on the breath-taking ecological system in South Scotland, include:

  • A project for the restoring of montane scrub and bearberry in the ‘wildheart’ of Southern Scotland between Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, run by Borders Forest Trust.
  • A partnership secured by Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust which is working to enhance three key freshwater pearl mussel populations in the north, south, and west of Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:

“It’s great news for Dumfries and Galloway that thanks to the Scottish Government’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund these fantastic projects on our coast and in our forested areas will receive funding to protect some of the most vulnerable species and habitats in the area.

“The success of these projects, and others like them across Scotland, will play a vital role in helping us meet our biodiversity commitments while improving natural spaces for all of our benefit.

“This SNP Government are committed to delivering the transformational change needed to ensure a bright future for Scotland’s beautiful natural environment.”

Notes and pictures available: