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Branching Out! Dumfries & Galloway Woodlands secures major grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Dumfries & Galloway Woodlands is a new initiative seeking to deliver tangible responses to the climate and biodiversity crises in the region. Launched in 2023, Dumfries & Galloway Woodlands is already leading a number of projects, supporting trees, habitats and the people that depend upon them.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has this month confirmed a grant of almost £200,000 to support the work underway.

The new organisation is supporting native tree planting schemes across the region from small through to larger scale schemes. Work to date has also included community engagement work with visits to School and the Prison, and a range of events.

The award of £194,190, will allow the recruitment of additional staff to build on the groundwork done so far, maximising how much Dumfries & Galloway as region gets out of the increasing focus on topics such as ‘natural capital’ and responding to the biodiversity and climate crises.

Plans are to recruit 2 new staff, provide advice and guidance on native tree planting, support intern opportunities, increase public engagement and develop innovative community/private sector partnerships that deliver public amenity or biodiversity benefits across the region.

McNabb Laurie, Dumfries & Galloway Woodlands Manager, said:

“This is going to turbo boost the work being done, we are so grateful to everyone at The National Lottery Heritage Fund for their vote of confidence, and to National Lottery players across the country.

We are focussed on native trees, but this is so much more than even that. Dumfries & Galloway, often seen as a peripheral or distant place, is front and centre of this international green revolution. Dumfries & Galloway’s land delivers benefits on the national stage, but the challenges can be felt here. From spiking land price through to changing land use, we want to creatively and innovatively use topics such as native trees to deliver tangible projects that add value locally, driving a nature-led economy in the region.

Visit our website, sign up as a member and join us on an exciting journey! And watch this space as we will be recruiting shortly…”

Caroline Clark, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland, said:

“Building on existing local knowledge, experience, and success from Galloway Glens this project puts community engagement and involvement at the centre of taking action on the climate and biodiversity.

“The programme is wide-ranging through school workshops and tree planting events to developing land acquisition proposals and partnerships with the public and private sector. The project offers an exciting prospect of bringing together a lot of ambition in Dumfries and Galloway with a new focus on working together for the environment and the community.”

This grant builds on work already underway, itself supported by the Woodland Trust, Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team and Borders Forest Trust.

For more information about Dumfries & Galloway Woodlands, follow the facebook or twitter pages, visit the website or sign up for the newsletter here:

Dumfries & Galloway Woodlands is registered in Scotland as a SCIO, number 052525.

Top photo: School children on a tree identification walk. Bottom photo: Planting day at Wood of Keir Restoration project.