I would encourage groups to apply for Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants of between £50-250 to run environmental activities in Scotland’s green spaces.
North Edinburgh Arts, based in Muirhouse, was awarded the first 2019 grant for their “Our Nature Pond” project where volunteers have been creating, and planting, a new biodiversity pond in their community garden.
From 2010-18, thanks to Scottish Natural Heritage funding Action Earth has benefited 1,442 projects and 53,215 volunteers have been actively involved. The impact has been enormous with an estimated 19 million square metres of land worked on and improved, 62,314 new trees planted locally and 3,995 new wildlife habitats created.
The Action Earth campaign, run by national charity Volunteering Matters, has just celebrated the one millionth hour of volunteering time given by volunteers on its funded projects this decade. This year there are also a limited number of enhanced grants of up to £500 for environmental projects which can demonstrate a significant health impact through working with people who have defined health or social needs.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“I’m pleased that North Edinburgh Arts have been awarded funding through Action Earth to continue improving biodiversity within our communities and benefit green spaces- something particularly important in urban areas like Edinburgh at a time when populations of the UK’s most important wildlife have plunged by an average of 60%.
“From tree planting and creating wildflower meadows, to building ponds, volunteers are making a real positive difference to communities across Scotland. I would encourage any group, or individual, wanting to take forward a project that can add to Scotland’s natural beauty and benefit disadvantaged communities to apply for funding. I look forward to hearing more about this year’s inspiring projects.”
Robert Henderson, of Action Earth, commented:
“We are delighted to have reached the milestone of 1 Million volunteers hours given this decade to help the environment. For a small grant giving scheme this is a phenomenal figure and represents the dedication and hard work of communities and individuals across Scotland. It demonstrates the passion and commitment that people have for getting out and getting active in their local communities and making changes that benefit everyone. Thanks to funding from Scottish Natural Heritage, we have been able to support a wide range of projects. Existing green spaces have been improved and developed beyond expectation and new ones have been created in unusual areas and in very dynamic ways.”