Communities urged to take the plunge to celebrate Year of Coasts and Waters

Communities are being given the chance to splash out and celebrate our coasts and waters. (Photo: Becky Duncan Photography)
Communities are being given the chance to splash out and celebrate our coasts and waters. (Photo: Becky Duncan Photography)

A new £150,000 fund has been launched to help community groups celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is marking the year with the launch of ‘Plunge In! The Coasts and Waters Community Fund’, offering a range of grants from small pots for schools and youth groups to awards of up to £10,000.

Applications are now open for community-led ideas that will engage and connect more people with our seas, coasts, lochs, rivers, streams and wetlands, as well as their unique wildlife.

Projects might include plans for restoring habitats, carrying out surveys or promoting and celebrating the environment or wildlife, and should leave a legacy from the year, for example through improved skills and knowledge or the creation of a community resource.

Smaller grants of up to £500 will also be available to allow groups of young people to connect with nature by visiting one of Scotland’s many stunning national or local nature reserves.

Francesca Osowska, SNH chief executive, said: “As Scotland’s nature agency, we’re really excited about the Year of Coasts and Waters.

“There is so much to celebrate about our coastlines and waterways and we want to encourage and inspire people to explore and enjoy them as much as possible throughout this year and beyond.

“We know communities up and down the country will also want to celebrate the year in their own way, but we recognise that some might lack the resources to do so.

“This new fund is a fantastic opportunity for groups to get involved, be creative, help their local environment and wildlife and improve our coasts and waters.”

Applications for Plunge In! The Coasts and Waters Community Fund will be open until February 28.

The fund is a first in a series of celebratory events and projects that SNH will be revealing throughout the Year of Coasts and Waters.

The year, led by VisitScotland, will celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.