NatureScot Project

19th October 2023

Gigha’s Protecting Woodlands project receives £248,000 to help nature recover


The Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust has been awarded £248,000 from the Nature Restoration Fund to remove invasive non-native species and create a system of hedgerows across the island of Gigha.

This landscape scale project based on the island of Gigha will eliminate invasive non-native species, such as rhododendron ponticum, skunk cabbage and Himalayan balsam, which is dominating and threatening much of Gigha’s landscape including existing woodlands and potential future planting areas.

The project will also plant near to 3000 metres of hedgerows to increase tree cover and provide greater structure by connecting pockets of isolated woodland and naturally regenerating areas, as well as providing hedgerow habitat that over half the UK’s priority species make use of for travel, nesting and foraging.

The project will be the springboard to protect and promote naturally regenerating woodland areas, as well as possible future woodland expansion projects on the island.


Managed by NatureScot, the Helping Nature fund is an element of the Scottish Government’s flagship £65 million Nature Restoration Fund.

The fund supports practical nature restoration projects with grants of £25,000 to £250,000. In this latest round of awards, Gigha is one of 27 projects to have been offered grants totalling £4.1 million.

NatureScot Chair Professor Colin Galbraith said:

“Through the Nature Restoration Fund, we can support vital work to restore Scotland’s species and habitats back to being healthy, vibrant and thriving.

 “Now more than ever, we need nature-based solutions to the climate-nature crises. It’s projects like this that can really help to stop biodiversity loss and enable us to move towards a nature-rich, net-zero future for everyone in Scotland.”

The Nature Restoration Fund helps to restore species and habitats, protect our marine and coastal areas, and eradicate invasive, non-native species, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of local communities. These projects are taking practical steps to help against the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss and restore Scotland’s natural environment.

See NatureScot’s website for a full list of projects that have been offered NRF Helping Nature funding this year.




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