Minutes of the RAW Meeting 27th January 2016

Present: Peter Dreghorn (Chair), Jon Haydon, Tony Donnely & Chris Stones (RAT), Steven Gillespie (Univ of Glasgow), Peter Norman (DGC), Jackie Galley (SEPA). In attendance: Peter Ryan PD welcomed JG to her first meeting and restated the RAW Vision.

1. Meeting of 26/11/2015 * Noted that River Annan status had been downgraded by SEPA, essentially because of problems of eel passage over Milnby Weir, though this has not yet been updated on SEPA website. Weir ownership not clear – an ‘orphaned structure’. * Collating existing information – large volume of information available, so may be best to collate it when required for a specific purpose. * SNH Green Infrastructure grant scheme – JG will circulate details. * Woodland Trust – PD to contact to check if offer of funding/trees still available. * Thanks expressed to RAT for funding Adamsholm NVC Survey. * PD likely to become RAT Trustee at some point in the future 2. Landowner Survey/Questionnaire * SG encouraging suitable students to undertake RAW landowner survey/questionnaire as dissertation. Would include SurveyMonkey questionnaire, followed by face to face interviews. * RAT to supply contact details as required. 3. Leader application * PD has had discussions with Leader staff. * TD looking at appointing intern with RAT for 6 months to draft RAW Strategic Plan, which could then be followed by Leader application. * SG to investigate potential financial assistance for internship. 4. ECAF * ECAF – not currently suitable for RAW projects. 5. Crown Estates & Annandale Estate * Opportunity to influence & input into Forest Plans etc. 6. SEPA’s position with RAW * SEPA to continue to attend RAW meetings & assess potential for future involvement. * SEPA’s regulatory remit to be kept separate from RAW. 7. Levels of intervention/Launch of RAW * RAW to work at all scales, as opportunities arise. 8. Website/Facebook * RAW website will go live at the time of appointment of intern. There then following a discussion on the merits of using the term ‘rewilding’ – continued via email.
Funding Option Advantages Disadvantages Conclusion
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) ✓ Single application can cover 3-4 years’ work. ✓ Substantial sums available (£100,000+). ✓ Opportunity to employ project dedicated staff. ✓ Will fund survey, design and implementation of practical work on the ground. ✓ Funds up to 60- 75% of eligible costs * Requires lead body (eg RAT) to take on employer, administration & financial management roles. * Significant, unfunded, time requirement for application preparation. * Match funding required. * Grant paid in arrears – potential major cash flow issues for lead body. Significant long-term commitment (and risk) required by lead body. Agreed (08/06/16) not to proceed at present time.
Leader (part of SRDP) ✓ Not currently available but applications expected to open soon. ✓ Applications in name of lead organisation, to which grant is paid. ✓ Potentially covers wide range of habitat management work. ✓ Can include appointment of project officer. * Requires lead organisation (eg RAT) to take on administration & financial management roles (& if necessary, act as employer). Application to be submitted for project to follow after internship
Agri-environment Climate Scheme (AECS)(part of SRDP) ✓ Covers wide range of habitat management work. ✓ High probability of application success for woodland * Applications need to be in name of each individual landholder. * Grant is paid direct to each landholder ie not to RAW/RAT * Limited recovery of time/costs required to prepare applications. * Competition from specialist agents working with landholders. Likely to be possible only for small-scale applications with ‘friendly’ landholders.
Environmental Co-operation Action Fund (ECAF)(part of SRDP) ✓ Designed to cover multiple landholders over landscape-scale. ✓ Applications in name of central facilitator/organisation, to which grant is paid. ✓ Grant covers time input of facilitator. * Does not fund any practical work on the ground. * Requires at least 2 landholders to be signed up prior to application. * Not currently available – next application deadline Jan 2017. Agreed (8/6/16) to look at submitting application in Jan 2017.
SNH Green Infrastructure Grant ✓ Substantial sums available. ✓ Outcomes closely aligned with RAW – biodiversity & ecosystems; environmental quality, flooding & climate change; communities; place attractiveness & competitiveness; health & wellbeing. ✓ Project examples include restoring water courses, e.g. re-naturalise river corridors to improve the physical habitat, amenity and biodiversity value *Emphasis on disadvantaged communities in towns and cities. * Funds only up to 40% of eligible costs. * Voluntary and charitable organisations not eligible to receive direct funding. Very unlikely for much of RAW area.
SEPA Water Environment Fund ✓ Restricted to measures contained in River Basin Management Plan, but many are closely aligned with RAW. ✓ Available as small (less than £10k) or large (10k+) grants. ✓ External match funding preferred, but can use in-kind funding. * Requires agreement of landowner(s) prior to application.
Woodland Trust ✓ Verbal agreement that Woodland Trust would supply trees and possibly funding for small-scale riparian woodland projects. Need to confirm if funding still available.
Private funding ✓ Opportunity to influence routine or privately funded work of landholders eg Crown Estate, Annandale Estates, windfarms As opportunities arise.
Existing funding ✓ Use existing funds of partner organisations to further aims of RAW. * Limited funds available Agreed (27/01/16) that RAT funds intern in order to develop RAW Strategic Plan.