Key Facts

  • Easy to access environmental grant scheme for Scotland
  • Supporting communities to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss
  • Action Earth grant funding is provided by NatureScot/SNH

All Action Earth 2020 grants are now allocated. Come back soon for updates on our 2021 allocation.

We are currently living in a global climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. In Scotland we need to change how we view and use the world around us. A nature-rich future is our best response.

In 2020 Volunteering Matters Action Earth offerd grants to help local communities to respond to climate change. Funded by NatureScot, these grants supported volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in practical outdoor activities.

Any group of volunteers were able to apply for Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants of between £50-250 to run environmental activities in Scotland’s green spaces. This could include creating or improving community gardens, wildflower meadows, ponds, woodlands or other wildlife habitats.

In 2020 we also offered a limited number of Action Earth Enhanced Grants up to £500 for projects which can demonstrate a significant health impact through working with people who have defined health or social needs.

Any successful grant award was issued on the condition that planned projects were carried out in line with Scottish and UK Government guidance and policy around COVID-19 at all times. We also recommended a gradual build-up of project activities, spread across smaller groups and activities and over longer periods than usual.

We prioritised applications from volunteer groups who do any of the following:

  • Work in areas where there is substantial social or economic deprivation
  • Improve and develop the health and wellbeing of their local community
  • Involve disabled people, vulnerable people or those at risk of exclusion
  • Encourage and involve people under 26 in practical outdoor conservation

We also welcomed applications that make a major environmental impact or involve mass participation.

Action Earth grant funding is provided by NatureScot/SNH.




LOOKING FOR SOME INSPIRATION FOR YOUR PROJECT? Take a look at our Action Earth Ideas and Links page



Butterflies and bloom event planting smith c 2015 07 22



  • The project must involve practical outdoor activity by volunteers in Scotland. They should make improvements to local green spaces – planting projects, wildlife habitat creation etc.
  • A minimum of 15 volunteers must be involved in the project, each giving at least 5 hours of volunteering time
  • Sites to be worked on must be accessible to the general public
  • Plants, tools, materials and volunteer expenses can be claimed. You MUST use non-peat compost if this is one of your purchases and our strong recommendation is to plant native species only.

We are unable to fund:

  • Compost that is not ‘peat-free’, fuel costs, staff time or sessional wages, accommodation, cameras or large pieces of equipment (lawnmowers, power tools etc.)
  • Any project taking place on school grounds.



Projects pay costs upfront and then claim back from us by sending in receipts, feedback forms and a grant claim form within 4 weeks of your project end date. We will then repay the money into your group’s bank account.

We’re here to help and can offer help and advice throughout the application process. We can also assist successful applicants with local press releases and advice on how to promote and develop your project.



All Action Earth 2020 grants are now allocated and so registrations are now closed.

What happens if I’m successful?

Successful applicants were sent an email with a letter showing the unique reference number which could be used throughout the process. Successful applicants would have been sent all the information needed, including a media guide and promotional material.


We have a limited number of grants. Existing grant holders must let us know immediately if your project has been changed, delayed or cancelled as we can discuss alternatives with you or reallocate your unused funds to other projects.



Click here for full Terms and Conditions 2020


Volunteering Opportunities run by this project: