A trio of projects to help farmers and crofters improve nature and adapt to climate change has been awarded £170,000 from the Scottish Government.
Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said the funding through the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund would drive forward innovation in farming and food production, and help agricultural businesses contribute to the green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Projects like these help farmers and crofters in rural and island communities to explore new ways of protecting and restoring biodiversity, habitats and ecosystems,” added Ms Gougeon.
One of the projects with funding is Biodiversity Monitoring in Shetland, which aims to give land managers a better understanding of wader bird numbers and habitats.
Facilitated by the Shetland Livestock Marketing Group, it aims to produce best practice guidance on wader habitat management for producers on the islands.
RSBP Conservation in Shetland adviser Nathalie Pion said: “Waders depend on how farmers and crofters manage their land. Farmers’ knowledge and skills are key to their protection.”
A project to develop a new agricultural input that captures carbon dioxide has also received support.
The project will collect data on, and encourage uptake of, the use of silicate rocks originating in the quarrying sector as an input in the farming sector.
Lastly, a Soil Association Scotland project to increase biodiversity habitats in enclosed farmland has received funding.
The project aims to help farmers and crofters adapt to climate change, restore biodiversity and improve business performance.
Colleen McCulloch from Soil Association Scotland said: “The project will allow us to develop a framework to benchmark the ways grazing livestock can rebuild natural capital as well as produce nutritious food.”