The River Almond headwaters have been selected for £125,000 of development funding by the restoration initiative ‘Riverwoods’.

Riparian alder on the banks of the Upper Almond on West Glenalmond Estate © Matthew Hay

The ‘Almond Headwaters’ nature-restoration proposal by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) recently won funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF), selected from a national, community-evaluated shortlist of candidates.

The project team will now work with landowners, communities and other stakeholders in the upper reaches of Glen Almond, developing a landscape finance innovation hub with opportunities for new funding mechanisms beyond traditional grants. Building on pilot projects elsewhere in the UK, the award from Esmée Fairbairn will help to create an investable nature recovery project in Highland Perthshire and drive community-focused ecological restoration in the region.

The project is part of the Perthshire Nature Connections Partnership (PNCP), a long-term, nature-based vision to support landscape restoration connections between the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Parks across Perthshire. PNCP’s connections to landowner and farmer organisations, environmental NGOs and agencies, Perth & Kinross Council and community actors were critical to achieving the Riverwoods award.

Riverwoods will ensure that a focus on ecological priorities like natural flood management, water quality, carbon sequestration, biodiversity and countryside access will result in valuable natural capital that provides socio-economic benefits to local communities, landowners and land managers. The scale of new private and corporate funding needed to restore nature and climate in Scotland is estimated to be over £1 billion.

David Tollick, Conservation Officer at PKCT and PNCP lead said:

We are very much looking forward to working with the partners, including the estates, the potential funders and the communities. Our own proposal will focus on the head-waters catchment of the River Almond. Our success will be shown in new ways that corporate and private funds can lead to nature recovery actions. Lessons learned could be used across similar areas.

further details of the project can be found on PKCT’s website