The water environment in Scotland is not only
an intrinsic part of our landscape but also a vital asset; it
provides habitats to support wildlife and ecosystems, and resources
for our tourism, recreation, agricultural and energy industries.
However, over the years it has been subject to impact from various
physical pressures, with the result that many rivers, lochs,
wetlands and coastlines are now a shadow of what they once
What is the Water Environment Fund?
Previously known as the Restoration Fund, the
Water Environment Fund provides funding to projects to help restore
Scotland’s catchments from the source, down through rivers, lochs,
floodplains into the estuaries and out to sea. The primary focus of
the funding is to tackle impacts on the morphology or physical
condition of these ecosystems. Funding of £1 million is available
annually by SEPA and the Scottish Government. The fund is managed
by us at SEPA, with support from Scottish Natural Heritage,
Forestry Commission, and Scottish Government
Who is the fund for?
Put simply it is for everyone; to benefit from
and apply to.
We welcome applications from all, including individuals,
charities, non governmental organisations, local authorities, and
companies. Funding will only be provided to projects that go beyond
an applicant’s duty or regulatory responsibility.
What is the fund’s purpose?
The fund aims to restore Scotland’s catchments
where historical activities have left them damaged, often resulting
in waterbodies being downgraded in the river
basin management plan.
Projects funded will:
- restore the morphology (i.e. the condition of
the banks, bed and shore) of the water environment;
- remove barriers to fish migration;
- control invasive non-native species (the fund
is currently fully committed for this aspect and is closed to new
applications for projects controlling invasive non native
- provide treatment for discharges from
abandoned non-coal mines.
All projects will deliver improvements beyond
what is required through regulation or normal duties, and
contribute to river basin
management plans. Details of projects funded to date can be
found on the success stories page.