Green grants for West Lothian

Environmental charity, Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT), has awarded over £18,000 to local volunteering projects including two in the West Lothian area, to deliver programmes which support volunteering activity in the Central Scotland Forest area.

Dedridge Environment Ecology Project (DEEP) and Almond Valley Heritage Trust (AVHT) in West Lothian are two of the three projects benefiting from an award of up to £7,500 this year.

DEEP will be using its £7,500 funding award to provide volunteer opportunities in the regeneration of a section of the Dedridge Burn and associated Wave Pond, whilst AVHT will be using its £5,540 funding award to establish a body of volunteers who will take ownership of the wartime garden and orchard within the Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Community Volunteer Fund is open to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations with experience in delivering volunteering projects. It provides one-off grants for projects which encourage and develop volunteering within the Forest boundary.

Simon Rennie, chief executive of CSFT, said: “CSFT’s aim has always been to improve the lives of people within the forest area and our Community Volunteer Fund is a fantastic opportunity to show our appreciation to these projects which benefit communities by creating a better environment, enhancing quality of life, and conserving and contributing to cultural heritage and contemporary culture.”

TThe charity has also awared five West Lothian groups with grants totalling nearly £7000 for their work.

Bellsquarry Community Council in West Lothian is just one of the projects benefiting from donations of up to £500 from CSFT. It will be using the money to plant bluebells in Bellsquarry Wood, engaging locals in a hands-on approach to learning about the environment.

Another community group in the West Lothian area that received funding from the Central Scotland Forest Trust Community Project Fund is West Lothian Scout Association, to create outdoor information and illustration boards near bat boxes for its Craig Woodlands Bat Education project.