£7.5million to care for Scottish landscapes

Loch Stroan, Dumfries and Galloway

The North Isles in Orkney, Callander’s Pass on the eastern edge of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and the Galloway Glens will benefit from this major funding package which is set to impact on 916 sq km of countryside while providing training for over 260 people, full time jobs for 13 people and a further 310 volunteering places.

Today’s awards brings HLF’s total investment in land and biodiversity projects in Scotland to over £150million helping to conserve key habitats, save rare species and reconnect communities with the natural heritage on their doorstep.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, said: “These three large-scale landscapes are amongst the most iconic in Scotland and it is great to see that £7.5million has been awarded to allow these important and ambitious projects to be realised.

“These three large-scale landscapes are amongst the most iconic in Scotland and it is great to see that £7.5million has been awarded.”Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Food and the Environment

“These projects will provide job and training opportunities, benefits for local communities, as well as, the obvious benefits for the environment.

“The wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland depends on the health of our environment. As set out in the Scotland’s Biodiversity Route Map to 2020, it is vital that action is taken now to care for, protect and restore fragile habitats and species. This investment will allow substantial work to be carried out which will support the aims of the 2020 Challenge for Biodiversity.”

Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “Our species and habitats are under constant threat yet they make a massive contribution to our economy. The enormous pressures upon them mean that we have to approach landscape restoration and conservation on a bigger scale than ever before. For the last 11 years our Landscape Partnership programme has been doing just that, and more. What communities have often already started on a small scale, HLF is delighted to take forward, bringing real cohesion to the natural and built heritage of a region. Thanks to National Lottery players, people are reconnecting with, and appreciating the nature that makes Scotland so special.”

Landscapes awarded

North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme, Orkney

£2,998,600 including £169,400 development grant

One of the most remote landscapes in Britain, the North Isles Landscape Partnership covers 23 islands including Shapinsay, Westray and North Ronaldsay which are dispersed across 757 sq km of sea. Their low lying fertile land where machair, one of the rarest habitats in Europe, thrives contrasts with high sea cliffs and hilly slopes. The land reflects its history with influences of Picts, Vikings, Norse and Lairds evident across the islands including the Knap of Howar on Papa Westray which is thought to be the oldest standing stone house in north-west Europe. The islands are also home to some of the largest colonies of kittiwake, gullemot and razerbills while rare reef habitats can be found in the seas between them.

The Landscape Partnership will protect and celebrate this rich natural heritage in a way which helps support the fragile island communities, encouraging young people to stay and work on the islands. Orkney College will be involved in providing training while a new heritage trail and interpretation will encourage visitors to the archipelago.

Callander’s Pass – Mind the Gap – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland

£1,551,200, including £119,600 development funding

This Landscape Partnership project is at the easternmost corner of Scotland’s first National Park, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. Set in an exquisite landscape along the Highland Boundary Fault in a geological “gap” between the Lowlands and Highlands, Callander provides a natural gateway to the National Park and the Highlands. Ambitious plans in this community-led project include transforming the town of Callander into the 'Outdoor Capital of the National Park', developing both cultural and natural heritage, creating a cycling and walking network and enhancing visitor interpretation to encourage people to make the most of getting active in the outdoors.

Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership

£2,915,700 including £185,500 development funding

A landscape formed by ice and water, modified by agriculture and farming, and strongly influenced by industry, the Galloway Glens LP covers the catchment area of the rivers Dee and Ken covering an area of 590 sq km. The area is the first UK Dark Sky Park, Scotland’s first Biosphere, has Scotland’s only bat reserve and contains seven priority habitats which are home to a host of wildlife. However changing land and water management has resulted in a dramatic decline or loss of many species – water vole, willow tit, night jar, black grouse, Artic char, Atlantic salmon and European eel.

The Landscape Partnership will work with communities in conserving and restoring this fragile landscape. Practical works will allow fish to negotiate the power station, peatland will be restored and forestry restructured. There will be training for 16-24 year-olds in heritage and business skills while local businesses will be trained in promoting nature-based tourism.

HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme – which has now been running for over a decade - is the most significant grant scheme available for landscape-scale projects. To date, £177m has been invested in 99 different areas across the UK helping forge new partnerships between public and community bodies and ensuring people are better equipped to understand and tackle the needs of their local landscapes.  Over its life-span, the LP programme has helped repair over 100 km of dry stone walls, enabled 810,000 people to participate in learning activities and helped more than 45,000 volunteers get involved – the equivalent of 64,000 working hours.

Quotes

Paul Prescott who is Chair of the Callander Landscape Partnership said: “We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. It’s wonderful news for the people of Callander and gives us an opportunity to preserve and enhance our landscape heritage for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”

Councillor for North Isles, Stephen Hagan said: “The North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme will provide us with an opportunity to raise awareness of the North Isles’ distinct identity and all that they have to offer, whilst investing in these fragile communities in order to promote their survival. I’m delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund have backed the project and I congratulate our staff on their hard work in getting the application to this stage. I look forward to being involved in the development of the project as we move forward, not only as an Elected Member but as a resident of Westray too.”

Notes to editors

HLF’s Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities. Grants range from £100,000 to £3m. The next closing date for LP applications is 1 June 2016 for decisions in October 2016. 
More than 3,100 Land and Biodiversity projects have received over £1.2bn from HLF.

Follow Landscape Partnerships on #LovingLandscapes.

Further information

Please contact Shiona Mackay on 07779 142 890, emai: shionamackay1@btinternet.com  or Jon Williams, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6035, jonw@hlf.org.uk

North Isles – Kirsty Groundwater on 01856 873 535 extension 2244, mobile: 07827 999 185, email: kirsty.groundwater@orkney.gov.uk.

Callander’s Pass - Nancy McLardie, PR & Media Manager Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority (Wed-Fri) on 01389 722 016, email: nancy.mclardie@lochlomond-trossachs.org.

Galloway Glens -  Karen Morley, Development Officer on tel: 07764 148 845 or 07764 148 845, email: karen.morley@dumgal.gov.uk.

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