Monday, 11 August 2014

Scotland: Peatland ACTION - applications for last call for funding

Announcement from the Peatland ACTION project:

The last round of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Peatland ACTION project is now open for grant applications, with a closing date of:

1st September 2014. 

Potential applicants are reminded that restoration ground-work MUST be completed by 15 March 2015 at the latest. Given the tight time-scale for completion of works, combined with the approaching autumn-winter weather and reduced daylight, potential applicants need to be mindful of the challenges posed. Please be realistic about the type and scale of work that is feasible. We will not fund projects that can’t guarantee completion by this date.

To help you in planning, beyond the closing date, it can take 6 to 8 weeks before formal approval is received. You will not be able to start the work before you receive any formal grant offer we might make.

For guidance, we would welcome applications from those who are confident that they can complete a restoration project in this time period. It will help us if you can submit you application before the 1st September deadline, where possible. This will allow us to process applications and follow up any queries we might have sooner.

Further information for applicants can be found on the project webpage ‘information for applicants.’ This includes standard information on eligibility, application forms and guidance on how to apply.

Types of projects we suggest are feasible in this short timescale are:
  • Shovel ready projects
  • Ditch blocking
  • Scrub removal
  • Tree felling – only where felling licences are in place 
  • Peatland restoration feasibility
  • Restoration plans
  • Peat depth and hydrological surveys
  1. Where trees or materials are removed for sale, you will need to provide detailed information on costs and income. Any profit will offset the amount of grant offered.
  2. Do not include projects that require fencing or stock bridges.

Next steps

If you plan to submit an application, could you please register with Peatland ACTION by email (below), providing:
  • Name of the project
  • Likely level of funding to be requested and expected project cost
  • Simple description of the type of work involved e.g. ditch blocking and scrub removal

Help and advice

If you want to discuss your application with a member of the Peatland ACTION team, please

Future funding

Beyond March 2015, the SRDP will be the main source of funding to maintain and restore peatlands. For those who have applied for Peatland Action funds in the June round we will be contacting you in the next few days

Andrew McBride
Peatland Action Project Manager

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Grouse moor licensing

BASC has published a paper entitled “Grouse moor licensing – assessment of proposal and summary of unintended consequences” and the organisation is using this paper to influence policy makers.

The facts presented in this paper serve to highlight how thin the argument in favour of licensing is.  While I can see the need for some change and development in the way that moorland is managed, I can see no logic to justify licensing of grouse moors.  It would be a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Positive and supportive engagement by the licensing lobby is much more likely to achieve benefits for the birds they seek to promote and protect.  They will argue that they have tried everything and achieved nothing, but maybe they ought to look to their approach and tactics before walking away in high dudgeon.

A workable and lasting solution must be achievable, but it will not be achieved without compromise.  In my view, we need to give the brood management proposals a chance and learn from the process.  It may not have have all the answers, but at the very least it will be progress.