Supporting wildlife and communities at landscape scale in a river catchment in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Peatland and river restoration, woodland creation and grazing management are all components of a new 2,000 hectares landscape scale project within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Forth Rivers Trust has received funding from the Transforming Nature round of the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot, and from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority to coordinate and develop this exciting new project in the upper Teith catchment , which will complement other restoration works within the National Park.  The project, which has just secured development phase funding of £67,163.50 from NatureScot, will bring together peatland restoration, river restoration, large scale tree planting, riparian planting and buffers and other land management enhancements within roughly 2,000 hectares. 

This project is part of Forth Rivers Trust’s work to improve the upper Teith catchment and to deliver its Teith Catchment Management Plan, which will work closely with the people who manage land and waterways to improve habitats for biodiversity and combat the effects of climate change on rivers.  This will support local communities and iconic species which depend on these habitats including Atlantic salmon, trout (resident brown and sea), freshwater pearl mussels and lampreys for future generations.

Working with the landowners, Forth Rivers Trust will produce a set of fully scoped, detailed project plans for different aspects of what will become a multi-million pound landscape scale restoration. Key drivers for the project will include the use of nature based river restoration techniques; and increasing biodiversity through habitat connectivity at a larger scale and ensuring the catchment is resilient to both biodiversity and climate change pressures.

The work will lead to long term action on the ground to support the changes needed for the future health of this landscape.

The Scottish Government’s annual Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot, funds projects that help Scotland’s species diversity, rivers and seas, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of local communities. These projects will take practical steps to help against the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and restore Scotland’s natural environment.

Alison Baker, Director of the Forth Rivers Trust said:

We need to act now to restore our catchments in an integrated way which provide both landscape scale change and long term resilience.  This project will provide a baseline against what is achievable to protect our iconic species for the future, provide local social and economic resilience and start to reverse the impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change pressures.  I look forward to working with the landowners and our partners to deliver this exciting project.

Dominic Hall, Future Nature Development Manager at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said:

“This is an incredibly exciting project that will deliver long-term action on the ground and contribute to the resilient, nature-rich National Park we want for future generations.

“Our Future Nature programme works with communities, partners, businesses and land managers across the Park to restore biodiversity and the natural environment.  This is exactly the kind of bold, landscape scale action that we need if we are to reverse the decline in nature by 2030 and ensure the widespread restoration of nature in the Park by 2040.

“Restoring nature and moving to net zero means that we must maximise the potential of nature to deliver multiple benefits from our land. We look forward to working with the Forth Rivers Trust, and with land managers in the area, to deliver sustainable land use for people, for nature and for climate.”

Biodiversity Minister Lorna Slater said:

“Our Nature Restoration Fund is making a difference across the length and breadth of Scotland, restoring our incredible natural environment, helping wildlife thrive, and investing in rural communities. Scotland’s nature is so important to all of us – our woodlands, peatlands, rivers and lochs are central to our cultural heritage and identity. But this complex diversity and abundance of life is also central to our survival as a species. Our economy, jobs, health and wellbeing depend on it. Nature-based solutions – restoring our peatlands and native forests for example – are also key to our success in tackling the climate crisis. 

“Following the agreement of new global targets to end extinctions and restore nature, we have published our new Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, setting out our high-level ambition for a nature positive future in Scotland by 2030. This year we will follow it with a new Delivery Plan setting out how we will achieve our stretching goals, including protecting 30% of our land and seas for nature by 2030. Our world leading Nature Restoration Fund will help us achieve that goal by delivering real, transformative change across the country.”

Chair of NatureScot Mike Cantlay said:

“Large-scale nature restoration projects are vital to help us tackle the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. If we are to have any chance of saving nature, then we must do everything we can to halt its decline now.

“The Nature Restoration Fund supports ambitious action to put Scotland’s land and seas, and all the wild species that inhabit them, back on the road to recovery. It is project like this one that will make a real and positive difference and we’re excited to see how it progresses. With the Nature Restoration Fund, we are helping Scotland to halt biodiversity loss by 2030 and reverse it by 2045.”

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