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12 November 2011

Funding Boost For Community Woodland Projects

The Scottish Government has today signalled its continuing support for community based woodland projects with another £250,000 cash boost towards next year’s Community Seedcorn Fund.

The popular Fund is run by Forestry Commission Scotland and gives small grants to groups and organisations to encourage small scale woodland projects that benefit communities.

Speaking at the Community Woodlands Association annual conference in Boat of Garten, Environment & Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

“The Scottish Government is firmly committed to genuine community engagement, both directly and through organisations like the Community Woodlands Association (CWA).

“The CWA has nearly doubled in size since its formation in 2003 to become an important stakeholder for government and it has delivered some excellent work on the ground for communities.

“Helping communities kick-start their local projects is a key theme of the Commission’s Community Seedcorn Fund. The Fund is already giving financial support for volunteering, skills development and community health promotion schemes.

“The programme has proved to be so popular that I am matching this year’s budget and allocating another £250,000 for next year."

The Strathnairn Community Woodlands initiative is one example of a local project to receive funding this year. The initiative is now providing chainsaw training for a group of volunteers so that they can manage their local woodland better and provide a welcoming place for community activities.

The Kirkhill and Bruchew Community Trust was also awarded financial support to buy hand tools for their volunteers so that they could maintain their local woodlands. The Trust also plans to buy tarpaulins, cooking utensils and steel storage boxes to help the local Scout troop in achieving their Forester badges and to run open days.

Jon Hollingdale, Chief Executive Officer for the Community Woodlands Association (CWA) added:

“The CWA warmly welcomes the Minister's announcement of next year's Community Seedcorn Fund.

“The Fund has proved very popular this year and has been invaluable in supporting a wide range of community woodland projects in both urban and rural Scotland. The application process is straightforward and the decision process is quick and this is highly appreciated."

Stewart Stevenson
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