The Highlands and Islands Environment Foundation

Our Vision: 

To protect and regenerate the natural beauty, biodiversity and eco-systems of the Scottish highlands and islands for the benefit of all by:

  • Preserving and enhancing these unique habitats rich in flora and fauna;
  • Working in partnership with local communities to develop bold, sustainable regenerative projects which can be scaled up and/or replicated elsewhere;
  • Enabling people and business with a passion for the highlands and islands to work together to support projects which will have a tangible and positive impact.



Spanning almost half of Scotland, the highlands and islands are unique and special places – rugged mountains, moorland, pockets of ancient Caledonian pine forest and miles of coastline.  Sadly, these vital ecosystems are now under threat as we face the consequences of climate and natural world emergencies.

  • Environment-targeted philanthropic donations in Scotland are only £1 per capita (England & Wales are £2 per capita);
  • Recent decades have seen dramatic and alarming reductions in the variety and number of plants and animals around us;
  • We only have a small window of opportunity to regenerate and restore the natural world on which we depend;
  • Most of us take nature for granted, giving little or nothing back.



The Highlands and Islands Environment Foundation will:

  • Help individuals and businesses maximise the impact of their donations by pooling funds and creating leverage;
  • Use our expert advisors to ensure that projects offer the best returns for nature;
  • Work with, empower and strengthen local communities, to create sustainable long lasting change on their doorstep;
  • Test and develop solutions which identify best practice and which can be replicated to create systemic change;
  • Provide a flexible, independent and effective grant-giving  model centred on enabling grass roots solutions to generate positive impact for nature and the local communities.


Our areas of interest:

  • Freshwater habitats – The area’s numerous lochs and rivers are a life source but are severely threatened by climate change and global warming.
  • Marine and coastal habitats – The region’s marine and coastal ecosystems are six times larger than its landmass but overfishing and pollution pose serious challenges.
  • Forests and woodlands – Famous for its ancient Caledonian forest, the area is now one of the most heavily deforested in Europe.
  • Montane habitats – Instantly recognisable landscapes characterise this area, but overgrazing and drainage threaten vital blanket peat bogs and their flora and fauna.


New grants:

  • Highland Primary School Birdbox ProjectThe project will supply each of the 175 primary schools across the highland area with x10 birdboxes each over a four-year period.
  • The Argyll and Islands Hope Spot – The Hope Spot offers a vehicle to combat environmental threats and to deliver a biologically diverse future championed by local  communities. Funds for a part-time coordinator will unlock multiple activities and benefits enabling the team to drive forward the Hope Spot’s aims for conservation and community education during 2021
  • Lochaline Native Oyster Restoration project The project would grow native oysters in suspended baskets with a view to restoring the local native oyster population to help regenerate the local marine habitat.  The project would last a minimum of three years.
  • Saving Scotland’s Rainforest – The Alliance for Saving Scotland’s Rainforest (ASR) aim to raise the profile of the rainforest amongst key target audiences.  ASR have already commissioned a film and website. In the short-term, they aim to maximise impact to seek funding for a minimum of two landscape scale projects against the background of the green recovery agenda


Please follow us on social media to stay up to date:

Instagram: @highlands_islands_environment

Twitter: @highlands_islands_environment