Volunteering Matters Action Earth 2021 Opens for Applications

Small grants for local volunteer groups of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss in Scotland.

Volunteering Matters has more than 50 years of experience in developing volunteering policy and promoting citizen led volunteering opportunities for people of all ages. Each year it runs the Action Earth grants programme with funding provided by NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage).

Any group of volunteers can apply for a grant of between £50 and £250 to run environmental activities in Scotland’s green spaces. This could include creating or improving community gardens, wildflower meadows, ponds, woodlands or other wildlife habitats.

In addition, this year there are also a limited number of Action Earth Enhanced Grants up to £500 for projects which can demonstrate a significant health impact through working with people who have defined health or social needs. These grants are available to projects where a minimum of 50% of the volunteers involved will have defined health issues.

The funding can be used for plants, tools, materials and volunteer expenses. The funding can only be used for peat free compost and the funder strongly recommends that native species are planted.

Projects must be complete by 31 January 2022 and should be in line with Scottish and UK Government guidance and policy around COVID-19.

Priority will be given to volunteer groups who do any of the following:

  • Work in areas where there is substantial social or economic deprivation
  • Improve and develop the health and wellbeing of their local community
  • Involve disabled people, vulnerable people or those at risk of exclusion
  • Encourage and involve people under 26 in practical outdoor conservation

Applications that make a major environmental impact or involve mass participation are also welcome.

Please note: Groups will need to pay their costs upfront and then claim back by sending in receipts, feedback forms and a grant claim form within four weeks of their project end date. Volunteering Matters Action Earth will then repay the money into the group’s bank account.

Applications will be accepted until all the funding has been awarded.