Lanarkshires rare bugs to benefit from biodiversity grant

Tuesday 5th August 2014

Rare bugs and butterflies are set to benefit from more than £190,000 of funding this September to help restore their raised bog habitat in the Scottish Lowlands.

A grant from WREN, a not for profit business that awards grants generated by landfill tax through sites owned by FCC Environment, will enable the conservation charity Buglife to restore endangered habitats at Fannyside Muir on the Slamannan Plateau in North Lanarkshire.

Some of the UK’s rarest invertebrates, such as the large heath butterfly and the bog sun-jumper spider, are only found on bogs and it provides an invaluable habitat for them explained Craig Macadam from Buglife.

“The area of lowland raised bog in the UK is estimated to have diminished by around 94%, which is why the bogs on the Slamannan Plateau are so important for biodiversity. The project will see around 180 hectares of peat land restored to bug friendly habitat, by managing water levels and promoting moss growth.”

Buglife will work in collaboration with the Forestry Commission Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Wildlife Trust for the duration of the project.

Buglife’s Slamannan Bog Restoration Project is one of 12 recipients of WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund to receive a share of the fund this year, totalling more than £2.7 million. Other organisations to benefit include the Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Coille Alba. Bog sun-jumper spider (Heliophanus dampfi) © Lorne Gill

The national fund, which is now in its sixth year, has helped support 73 projects at a total cost of £15,829,398 since 2009.  More than 500 sites have benefitted from the funding including 130 sites of Special Scientific Interest and 14,000 hectares of priority habitats such as chalk streams, grassland and coastal reed beds.

Kristian Dales, sales and marketing director at FCC Environment said the number of and quality of projects applying for the biodiversity fund increases every year. “FCC Environment and WREN are together committed to supporting projects which protect, maintain and expand some of the country’s most unique ecosystems. We’re looking forward to seeing the projects take shape with help from the WREN funding, and seeing the positive impact they’ll have, helping to conserve natural spaces and species for generations to come. These projects will also help the UK meet government targets to improve and increase biodiversity.”