Grantee profile

Highlands and Islands Environment Foundation

The Highlands & Islands Environment Foundation (HIEF) was established at the end of 2020, having formerly operated as the West Highland Coastal Trust from 2012 to 2020. HIEF has now joined the Conservation Collective, a growing network of 18 environmental funds located across four continents. HIEF now dispenses more than £200,000 per annum in small grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 to local NGOs, community charities and research centres.

Grant-making focusses on the regions’ four main ecological spheres: fresh water, mountainous, coastal and woodland. Some funded projects involve species-specific research, such as an in-depth study of Harbour Porpoises in Longhope Bay, Orkney; a robust mapping of sea lice in the salmon farms on the West Coast; and a thorough risk analysis of the potential reintroduction of cranes to the Cairngorms region. Other projects deliver immediate benefit, such as the establishment of native oyster nurseries, the reintroduction of the water vole to Knapdale, and various efforts to conserve Scotland’s coast through clean-up efforts. Finally, there is a focus on public engagement through grantees involved in citizen science, conservation education and youth outreach.