Shettleston launch for green urban grants scheme

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The Action Earth campaign launched its 2017 grant-giving scheme on Thursday at Shettleston Community Growing Project in Glasgow.

The campaign, which is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, offers easy-to-access grants of up to £500 which are available for any group of volunteers in Scotland carrying out practical environmental improvements and wildlife habitat creation in their local green spaces.

Shettleston Community Growing Project is a volunteer-led organisation in south Glasgow.

They are a community hub, transforming formerly derelict and poisoned ground into a shared learning area of bio-diverse environments for everyone to enjoy.

Their Smelly Welly After-School Club for young children will be renovating and planting up a pond for Frogs and Newts while older volunteers will be repairing and constructing raised beds with new tools purchased.

The scheme is run by national charity Volunteering Matters and runs until November.

Robert Henderson of Volunteering Matters Action Earth, said: “We would like all 2017 applicants to build or install at least one wildlife habitat as part of their project.

“The new ‘homes’ will cover the ‘Wee Five’ of Scotland’s wildlife with instructions on how to build bird boxes, bat boxes, frog hibernacula, hedgehog boxes and bee/insect homes on Action Earth’s website.” Groups of volunteers can apply for a grant to help them care for and maintain their local green spaces.

The campaign is especially keen to hear from projects whose work benefits disadvantaged communities.

Previous projects have included wildflower meadow creation, pond renovation, woodland improvements and establishment of community gardens.

Sue Walker, acting chairwoman of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “Last year 173 projects benefitted from this small grant funding, and over 8,000 volunteers were involved in improving biodiversity in their community.

“We are really looking forward to hearing about the improvements to local green spaces that happen this year, for the benefit of people and nature.

“Action Earth makes a real difference by encouraging people to take an active interest in nature and their communities.

“By improving local greenspace and connecting people with nature, Action Earth projects are helping to deliver the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity.”

More information is available and applications can be made now at the Action Earth website: volunteeringmatters.org.uk/actionearth