The Leven Landscape Enterprise Network (LLEN) is today announcing a major funding boost from NatureScot’s Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland (FIRNS) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This exciting project, spearheaded by the Forth Rivers Trust, in collaboration with Nature Scot, SEPA, 3keel, and other partners, aims to revolutionise the approach to green finance within the Leven catchment around the breathtaking Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross.
The Leven Landscape Enterprise Network is set to pave the way for a ground-breaking way of working that matches investors with local activities and projects that preserve and enhance this important region’s natural beauty and biodiversity. As part of its core mission, the project will identify and implement a strategy for long-term investments into measures to make the Leven landscape healthy and productive while benefitting the environment, boosting biodiversity and uplifting local communities.
Amelia Heath, Co-Director of the Forth Rivers Trust, expressed her excitement and optimism about the project’s potential: “The Leven Landscape Enterprise Network represents a significant step forward in our commitment to safeguarding the natural wonders of this region. We are delighted to receive the support from NatureScot’s FIRNS and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which will enable us to spearhead a transformative initiative. By establishing a model for green finance, we are creating a tangible path towards tackling the biodiversity crisis.”
Ms. Heath continued, “This project isn’t just about nature; it’s about people too. We aim to empower landowners with the necessary resources to make environmentally conscious improvements that will benefit both their agricultural businesses and the broader community. Moreover, our efforts will generate employment opportunities, starting with two jobs in the initial phase and the potential for more as we embark on ambitious restoration projects. In essence, this initiative is about fostering a harmonious relationship between nature, economy, and society.”
The Leven Landscape Enterprise Network recognises that government funding alone cannot meet the monumental challenges posed by the biodiversity crisis. The innovative approach taken by this project is poised to make a significant impact on rivers and catchments, enriching the lives of local wildlife and communities alike. As this project gains momentum, it will serve as a testament to the power of collaborative efforts and forward-thinking strategies to create a sustainable future for Scotland’s natural heritage.
Donald Lunan, Head of Strategic Programmes for 3Keel said: “Landscape Enterprise Networks bring together individuals and organisations who have an active interest in a landscape, to generate investment into activities and outcomes to secure the landscape’s long-term health and productivity. While 3Keel pioneered the model, it is the focused and dedicated work of organisations like Forth Rivers Trust that will make the adoption of this way of working a success for businesses, farmers, communities and the natural environment in this stunning region of Scotland. We’re looking forward to seeing early successes and long-term outcomes.”
NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “As we tackle the climate-nature crisis with a growing urgency, everyone has the responsibility to get us to net zero. The FIRNS grant to the Leven LENs is part of our commitment to offer communities, companies, charities and individuals across Scotland the opportunity to develop bold business cases and financial models which will attract the investment required to restore nature.
“I’m inspired by the creativity and ambition projects like Leven LENs show us as we scale up our efforts to halt biodiversity loss and create a nature-rich country for us all. A thriving natural capital market that benefits the restoration of our rivers, coasts, rainforests, peatlands, farmlands and urban greenspaces is great for communities and great for nature.”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland Caroline Clark said: “FIRNS is an exciting opportunity to explore new ideas on how we attract vital investment to support the restoration of nature in Scotland. We are funding over £1.8m in grants to develop investment models that are good for nature and communities and the economy.
“At the National Lottery Heritage Fund we are passionate about communities being at the heart of what we fund, and community involvement is vital to these projects. It is thanks to National Lottery Players that we can support this innovative work.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Amelia Heath, Co-Director, Forth Rivers Trust