News and events News Bags of Help Boosts Biodiversity All across Scotland, from Stranraer to Scalloway and Turriff to Tiree, Bags of Help grants have enabled communities to boost biodiversity and encouraged local people to get involved in projects which support nature. Biodiversity is the web of life all around us and Scotland is lucky enough to have an amazing variety of wildlife, from toadstools to trees and ospreys to otters. We need to look after it for our health, enjoyment and wellbeing, now and in the future. Fortunately, dozens of Bags of Help projects have been doing just that. Projects have taken place in woodlands, on nature reserves, along rivers and coasts as well as in city playgrounds, town parks and on remote islands. Below are details of some of the many and varied projects Bags of Help has funded and links to case studies on the website: On the island of Tiree, training and support was provided by the Friends of Nadair Thiriodh for volunteers to survey the Great Yellow Bumblebee, the UK's rarest bumblebee. The project was rounded off with two celebrations, a ‘bumblebee dance’ in the community hall for everyone and an invitation to the Nature of Scotland Awards in Edinburgh, where the project received ‘Highly Commended’ in the Community Initiative category; Volunteers at The Water of Leith Conservation Trust boosted biodiversity at Balgreen in central Edinburgh by renovating a derelict area beside the river walkway through planting a native hedgerow, sowing wildflowers and creating a butterfly and bee bank; On the edge of Blackridge village in West Lothian, Beechbrae social enterprise worked with local young people to create a beautiful wild pond and platform where locals can now sit and watch all the wetland wildlife dance about; Children in Fife have had the opportunity to explore and get up close to all the fascinating biodiversity around where they live through minibeast hunts, pond dipping and nature trails provided by local organisation Beasties, Bugs and Bairns; The Friends of Stevenston undertook work at Stevenston Beach in Ayrshire to restore sand dunes destroyed through the effects of trampling and storm damage. Volunteers also planted the iconic marram grass to stabilise the sand and benefit the many rare bees, beetles, moths and other wildlife found on the site. Many other projects have also used Bags of Help funds to provide better access and outdoor learning at wildlife sites; promote art in nature and encourage biodiversity in gardens and growing areas. Our case studies for the Red Squirrel Trail, Aldouran Wetland Garden, Scottish Dragon Finder and Laigh Hills Park Heritage Orchard demonstrate what can be done to promote biodiversity and community benefits in lots of different ways. Want to make your local environment better for biodiversity and people? Awards of £1,000 - £4,000 are available by applying online to bring benefit to your local community and environment. Need help with your application or just want to bounce ideas of us – find your local Community Enabler. Now that spring is just around the corner, why not get out and about and encourage wildlife where you are? Attract some wildlife to your garden or why not take a trip to see great wildlife at one of the fantastic National Nature Reserves or Local Nature Reserves across Scotland?