FIRNS Scheme Success- RAW is an involved Community Group

GFT has been successful in securing funding from the FIRNS scheme to develop a large-scale habitat restoration project for the River Annan catchment.


This development work is taking place over 6 months, during which time we will work with the River Annan District Salmon Fishery Board, landowners and community groups to identify restoration opportunities.

These restoration opportunities will be developed and designed so as to become ‘investment ready’, providing investment opportunities for private sector companies who are looking to invest in nature and local communities.  Thank you to NatureScot and Heritage Lottery Fund for this funding. Provided through FIRNS – ‘Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland’

This work has multiple strands including:

  • Working with landowners to identify restoration potential.
  • Ensuring tangible community benefits are built into the….
  • Developing financing mechanisms to fund restoration work.

GFT is working with several large landowners across the River Annan catchment who are interested in exploring opportunities from habitat restoration on their land.  Restoration opportunities might include areas where any one, or combination of the following interventions could be considered. These may be small or large scale:

  • Riverbanks could be planted with hardwoods.
  • Watercourses could be fenced off or fencing set back.
  • Embankments could be set back to allow a wider river corridor.
  • Wood structures could be fixed into the river channel.
  • Water could be stored during high flows to alleviate flooding.
  • Wetlands could be created.

Secondly, community engagement work is underway to identify where private investment could deliver benefits for local people and community groups, as well as for the natural environment.  It is crucial that this is built in from the beginning of project development. At this early stage of project development, we are working with the Southern Upland Partnership, who are working to produce a Community Engagement Plan for the project.

The final strand of this development work is exploring options and mechanisms for how the restoration work will be financed. This entails designing and packaging restoration works into clear investment opportunities for private sector, detailing how the proposed environmental and community benefits will be achieved, how they will be evidenced and how they will be valued.

This is very much an emerging market and there is no one size fits all approach. To assist with this work, GFT has contracted Galbraith to provide expertise and guidance and progressing the project towards ‘investment readiness’.