£7.5m funding for three of Scotland's iconic landscapes

Noup Head, Westray Image copyright Heritage Lottery Fund
Image caption Noup Head, Westray

Three of Scotland's most iconic landscapes have been awarded £7.5m of lottery funding.

The North Isles of Orkney, Callander's Pass in the Trossachs and the Galloway Glens in the south of Scotland will benefit from the funding package.

The money, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), is for "conservation and reconnecting communities with their natural heritage".

It is awarded as part of the HLF Landscape Partnership programme.

The programme, which has now been running for more than a decade, provides funding to conserve key habitats, save rare species and reconnect communities with the natural heritage on their doorstep.

The North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme, Orkney, has been awarded £2,998,600 to protect the isles' natural heritage and support the island communities.

Orkney College will be involved in providing training to encourage young people to stay on the islands, while a new heritage trail will encourage visitors to the archipelago.

As one of the most remote landscapes in Britain, the North Isles Landscape Partnership covers 23 islands including Shapinsay, Westray and North Ronaldsay.

Image copyright Heritage Lottery Fund
Image caption Callander's Pass on the eastern edge of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

There are also ambitious plans for Callander's Pass, on the eastern edge of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The community-led project will include creating a cycling and walking network, and transforming the area's cultural and natural heritage.

The landscape lies along the Highland Boundary Fault in a geological "gap" between the Lowlands and Highlands, meaning Callander provides a natural gateway to the National Park and the Highlands.

Image copyright Heritage Lottery Fund
Image caption Loch Stroan in the Galloway Glens

The Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership has also benefitted from £2,915,700 funding to conserve and restore the fragile landscape.

Practical works will allow fish to negotiate the power station, peatland will be restored and forestry restructured.

There will be training for 16-24 year olds in heritage and business skills while local businesses will be trained in promoting nature-based

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "These three large-scale landscapes are amongst the most iconic in Scotland and it is great to see that £7.5m has been awarded to allow these important and ambitious projects to be realised.

"These projects will provide job and training opportunities, benefits for local communities, as well as, the obvious benefits for the environment."

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