Heritage Lottery Fund grant boost for Scottish wildcat

Wildcat Action has received �973,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Wildcat Action has received �973,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A ground-breaking co-operative conservation project to help the threatened Scottish wildcat is celebrating a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £973,100.

Wildcat Action – which involves more than 30 organisations, community groups and landowners – will over the next five years focus on tackling the decline of Scottish wildcats in six recently identified priority areas.

The work, co-ordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), is a key part of delivering the national Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan, which was launched last year.

It involves working with local communities, including those in the Angus Glens, to deliver benefits for the species and is focused strongly on tackling long-term risks by raising awareness of wildcats and the threats they face.

Ron Macdonald, SNH director of policy and advice, said: “We are thrilled to receive the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the partner organisations and other contributors to the project. We now have the package in place that will hopefully safeguard wildcat populations in these six priority areas.”

Alex Hogg, Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association chairman, also welcomed the funding.

He said: “We have already done work in terms of wildcat identification with our members and, due to their practical knowledge, gamekeepers can be very useful in terms of trapping, field skills and the siting of cameras, all of which will be useful in the ongoing effort.