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Funding still available for wildlife crime projects

News release by Scottish Natural Heritage

Funding is still available for a variety of projects under the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland, its organisers have confirmed.

The funds can be used for new and innovative projects based on prevention, intelligence, and enforcement to tackle wildlife crime throughout Scotland

An initial £200,000 PAW fund was launched in 2009 to grant aid projects to March 2011. It has already supported a wide range of projects across the country all of which are helping in the prevention and enforcement of wildlife crime.

Projects range from supporting the establishment of a world-class forensic laboratory in Edinburgh to analyse samples taken from wildlife crime scenes, to providing training events for police and procurators fiscal on aspects of wildlife law.

Other projects funded have included satellite tagging birds of prey to deter illegal persecution, and campaigns to tackle poaching. The PAW fund is administered by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Minister for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham stressed: "Wildlife crime threatens the survival of some of our rarest and endangered animals, plants and habitats. It has no place in a civilised society and we are determined to crack down on its effect on our wildlife.

"Tackling it is the job of our police forces, but it requires concerted help and support of people across Scotland and that is where this fund has helped by playing a large part in that effort. It affects all of us, and this PAW fund gives the people of Scotland the opportunity to take forward new and innovative projects with which to tackle wildlife crime."

Around £30,000 is available to applicants to fund up to £5,000 for individual projects. More details can be found on the grants section of the SNH website at www.snh.gov.uk

Dr Ben Ross of SNH's Wildlife Operations Unit said: "Wildlife crime impacts on everyone who enjoys and relies on Scotland's countryside from our farmers, land managers and stalkers to hill walkers and ramblers.

"The fund was set up to help groups and individuals tackle wildlife crime in their area by allowing them some freedom to take action. We are delighted to confirm that the fund has already supported a wide range of projects and there are still funds available for projects to be carried out before the fund closes next spring."

Awards of up to £5,000 per project are available, usually up to 50% of total costs. The deadline for application is 17 January 2011 and all supported projects should be delivered, and approved expenditure claimed, by 31 March 2011.

ENDS

Media inquiries: Fergus Macneill, SNH Public Relations: 01463 725 021

NOTES TO EDITORS

PAW Scotland is the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime in Scotland. PAW Scotland partners include a wide range of bodies committed to tackling wildlife crime including conservation, land management, shooting and law enforcement organisations.

PAW Scotland defines wildlife crime as any unlawful act or omission, which affects any wild creature, plant or habitat, in Scotland.

More information can be found at www.PAW.Scotland.gov.uk

The PAW Funding Sub-group comprising representatives of PAW member organisations OneKind, Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Government and SNH advises SNH on the priorities for awards.

Scottish Natural Heritage is the Government's advisor on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. For further information visit our website at www.snh.org.uk