New £3m Peatland Protection Fund Announced

Environment Minister Andrew Muir has announced the launch of a new £3 million fund to help protect Northern Ireland's peatlands.

As part of the Cross-Border Peatlands Restoration Project announced in 2022, the new Peatland Challenge Fund Competition offers councils and voluntary organisations a minimum grant of £50,000 for projects that will protect and improve habitats and the quality of our water.

Through this project, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is partnering with the National Parks and Wildlife Service of Ireland (Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE project) and NatureScot to benefit cross-border collaboration, knowledge-sharing and expertise building in peatland restoration across Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland.
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Launching the opening of the competition, Minister Muir said: "Our peatlands are of enormous importance to our environment, affecting our water quality, conserving biodiversity and in mitigating climate change by storing carbon, so I am delighted to announce the opening of this £3million competition fund. It provides a great opportunity to support local not-for-profit organisations and councils to help improve the conditions of our peatlands, many of which are sadly in poor condition.

"This funding will support the restoration of our peatlands whilst helping to restore our environment to a condition that is healthy and will meet our biodiversity targets and our Net Zero contribution. So if you are an eligible organisation with a strong passion to help our environment, I would encourage you to apply now to this new competitive funding scheme."

The Peatland Challenge Fund is supported with funding from DAERA and through the Irish Government’s Shared Island Fund. Grant awards of over £50,000 are on offer with funding available under the competition being up to 100% of eligible project costs.

The key areas for funding under this competition are:

1. Nature Recovery: Building ecological and climate resilience; and

2. Connecting People with the Environment.

Further information, including, eligibility, guidance notes and details of how you can apply for funding, can be found on the DAERA website.

Applications must be submitted by 12noon on Wednesday 19 June 2024.

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