Nature Restoration Fund

How to apply

This fund is currently closed

The Nature Restoration Fund is for capital projects only. Read all sections on these pages before applying to ensure your project is eligible.

This year, we have introduced a new application process. This is to help fast-track applications and to allow greater flexibility when applying for NRF funding.

The fund is open to accept applications from now and will close 25 March 2024. There will be four decision making rounds during this time when applications will be considered. If the total available allocation for the Highland Council is committed prior to the closure date, the fund will close. Information on the website will be updated to notify applicants.

A completed application form does not guarantee that it will be successful. Officers will assess your proposal on technical eligibility and the biodiversity impact it will deliver. Projects must score well especially in the biodiversity, environmental and legacy of the assessment criteria. If there are any issues with your application, an officer will be in touch with feedback.

There are three decision making dates when applications will be considered. There are also three submission deadlines when to submit applications for each decision-making date. Officers require adequate time to assess your project before it is considered. The key dates are as follows:

  • Round 1 – Submit by 12 noon on 4 October 2023 for a decision by late October.
  • Round 2 – Submit by 12 noon on 22 November 2023 for a decision by mid December
  • Round 3 – Submit by 12 noon on 29 January 2024 for a decision by mid-February 2024.
  • Round 4 - Submit by 12 noon on 25 March for a decision by late April 2024.

You are only required to:

  • complete the application form
  • submit a copy of a recent bank statement
  • submit a copy of your latest annual accounts
  • a Fair Work First policy statement

Failure to provide these will delay the application being considered and it may have to be deferred to the next decision-making round.

If awarded funding, applicants are required to submit further documentation to support the application. This will be advised upon receipt of an offer of grant letter.

Nature Restoration application documents

Grant awards

For the 2023 to 2024 allocation of the Nature Restoration Funding, the Highland Council has been allocated £676,000, for more information, see the committee report. Up to 50% of the total allocation is available for community groups and organisations to apply for. The remaining allocation is ring-fenced for nature restoration projects the council will deliver.

Grant awards are available from a minimum of £2,000 up to a maximum of £25,000.

An intervention rate of up to 100% is possible, however we would expect to see a good level of in-kind contribution.