West Lothian Council has been awarded over £90,000 towards developing a local park at Wyndford Avenue in Uphall. Investment in a 'green recovery' is understood to be the most cost-effective way of making our communities and our nature sustainable and more resilient, while driving inclusive economic development.
The council is also investing £100,000 in developer contributions toward the new park, along with a further £20,000 from Scotland Loves Local fund, taking the total cost to over £210,000.
Executive councillor for the Environment Tom Conn said: "We are delighted to work with the Nature Restoration Fund and Scotland Loves Local to deliver another fantastic new park in West Lothian.
"The former open space site off Wyndford Avenue will be revamped following extensive consultations with the local community. We've been working in partnership with Green Action Trust to develop the project and they will also project manage all the construction works.
"The new park will include landscaping with paths and seats, tree and bulb planting and small football goals. It will also have a new raingarden feature, designed to enhance biodiversity and delay the flow of water from the park into the drainage system when it rains heavily.
"I'm confident the new park will be a fantastic amenity for the local community when complete in Spring 2022, as well as encouraging biodiversity."
The Nature Restoration Fund supports a range of urban, rural, marine and coastal focused projects to address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. The Nature Restoration Fund specifically encourages applicants with projects to increase the biodiversity and environmental value of land and sea, with a focus on habitats and species, and supporting green skills, training and jobs where possible. Through this approach, successful projects will contribute to the green recovery as we emerge from Covid-19 and work towards a nature rich future.
The new park is one of 54 successful projects across Scotland to share the additional £5million committed in this round of the Nature Restoration Fund. The projects will take practical steps to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity.
The 2021 Nature Restoration Fund added to the many millions of pounds of Scottish Government funding delivered through the Biodiversity Challenge Fund, Scottish Rural Development Programme and other sources to support biodiversity and help to deliver Scotland's Biodiversity Strategy.
Biodiversity Minister, Lorna Slater, said: "Too much of Scotland's natural environment is degraded after years of over-exploitation, but this Government is committed to restoring nature and our wildlife.
"The Nature Restoration Fund will play a big role in delivering these aspirations, and the projects we are funding today are just the beginning. The Fund kick starts a new approach, supporting longer-term, larger, landscape-scale projects across Scotland - on land and at sea - that address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. Over this parliament we will invest at least £65 million through the fund, delivering real change that people and nature will benefit from across the whole country."
NatureScot Chief Executive, Francesca Osowska, said: "COP26 in Glasgow has driven home the urgency of the situation we are all facing. But there is hope. By restoring nature, protecting and enhancing habitats and safeguarding marine life we can look forward to a nature-positive future.
"Scotland is taking action now to meet the huge challenges and pressures that nature is facing and its projects like these that will make the difference and set us on the road to recovery.
"Climate change needs nature-based solutions, not only to help us reach net zero by 2045 but to create a healthier, more resilient Scotland."