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

Action Earth 2020 is now open for applications.

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.

Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants are available to help local communities to respond to climate change. Funded by NatureScot, these grants will support volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in practical outdoor activities. Projects must conclude by February 2021.

Any group of volunteers can 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.

We also offer 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. Contact Robert Henderson if you wish to discuss eligibility and availability of this enhanced level grant.

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

We prioritise 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 welcome 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 not able 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.)
  • We cannot fund 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.



Register by completing the submission form below. We will then email you a link to the grant application form. Please make sure you supply two different contact names, that site permission is granted and that you have read and agree to our terms and conditions. We will then email you back a copy of your completed application.

Register now

What happens if I’m successful?

Successful applicants will be sent an email with a letter showing the unique reference number which you can use throughout the process. We will send you all the information you need including a media guide and promotional material.


We have a limited number of grants. You 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: