Spring newsletter

Spring Newsletter 2022

Welcome to the first of this year’s newsletter updates from the Highlands & Islands Environment Foundation (HIEF).

Some Positivity in 2022

World events continue to cast a shadow on our every day lives but there are still some positives to celebrate, including our newest grants and the success of this year’s Green Match Fund – all possible as a result of your support, thank you.

Up and down the country, communities are coming together to tackle environmental challenges with dedication, passion and a determination to make a positive difference regardless of how overwhelming the task ahead may seem.  HIEF has now supported 20 such projects with almost £310,000.  On behalf of everyone associated with HIEF, thank you for making this possible.

Our next round of grants will be awarded in July and I look forward to sharing more on those, and some of the other exciting projects in the pipeline, in due course. In the meantime, I hope everyone is able to enjoy some warmth, a breath of fresh air and some time to relax and recharge as spring slips into summer.

Best wishes,
Sally McNaught
Executive Director

HIEF Awards grants of £45,000

So far this year, HIEF has already awarded almost £45,000 in grants to some incredible projects prioritising nature and nature-based solutions to help mitigate some of the most pressing climate and biodiversity challenges facing us.
1) The River Spey Partnership was awarded £10,000 to help identify possible community-led projects to help restore the second-longest and fastest-flowing river in Scotland.
2) Whale & Dolphin Conservation Shorewatch Youth Programme£4,981 to expand their successful Shorewatch programme, addressing data gaps whilst also providing valuable training for younger people.
3) Abernethy community woodland rangers£14,645 to help fund the second year of a pilot project providing community woodland rangers to keep our woodlands and wild spaces clean and safe and to help educate visitors.
4) North Ronaldsay, Beach Plastic Recycling Warden£15,000 to help fund the employment of a combined plastics ranger/facility technician to run the island’s first on-island plastic recycling plant.

On behalf of everyone at HIEF, and all our inspiring project partners, thank you; we are very grateful for your support.

1,000th birdbox!

1,000 birdboxes have been completed and distributed as part of the Highlands Primary School Birdbox Project.  This fantastic project will deliver 10 birdboxes and accompanying teaching resources to each of the 175 primary schools in the highlands over three years.

Each box is handcrafted by Tom Rawson from sustainable timber and recycled materials to provide much needed replacement nesting sites for our native birds and allow children to learn how to observe, identify, record and map birds native to their area – thus helping to foster a greater awareness and passion in the next generation of nature ambassadors.

Congratulations Tom!

A basic human right?

Should we have the right to live in a healthy environment?  If so, how can we make that happen?

HIEF is proud to support the campaign by the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland (ERCS) which is fighting to make the human right to a healthy environment enforceable in Scottish law.  You can learn more and sign the petition here.

Green Match Fund – £20,000

For the second year running, the Big Give ran the Green Match Fund and HIEF took part, raising an incredible £20,000 during the week-long campaign.  This money will be available for grants in 2022, thus empowering even more inspirational community-led projects to make an impact.

If you donated to this campaign, or indeed at any other time this year, THANK YOU, we are truly grateful for your support.

The need for grants that restore nature in the Scottish highlands and islands greatly outweighs the funding we currently have, so please do support us if you can.

If you are keen to get involved, you can make a donation here or get in touch if you’d like to support us in other ways.

If you know of a project that could benefit from a grant from HIEF, our application form is here.