Support for Riverwoods Pioneer projects

The Riverwoods Investment Readiness Pioneers project stream in 2022 aimed to provide an opportunity for communities, landowners and other stakeholders to work together to identify Riverwoods projects that have the potential to be financed using new mechanisms beyond traditional grants. While the application process is no longer open, resources developed as part of this project can continue to be accessed below.

The Plan

Here is an illustration of one way your journey might pan out:

Of course your journey may be very different, and that’s ok.

Here are the main points to consider:

  • You are interested in designing a Riverwoods restoration project in Scotland 
  • You believe your project could have a positive outcome for nature and the environment 
  • You want to access private finance, not just grant funding (it’s a big project for you) 
  • You believe your project will provide a commercial as well as public benefit 
  • You plan to develop your initiative openly and with others to build public trust and support. 

This does not have to be a brand new project. For example you may want to explore how you might extend an existing project into new finance. Or you might want to help shape proposals put forward by others.

The Guide to planning your project developed for the Riverwoods Investment Readiness Pioneers projects may be useful for you.

How it might work out?

Review the illustrative journeys for three hypothetical projects, from inception to delivery.

This illustration has been co-developed with project participants: View them here.

Get connected to resources and stories of restoration to inspire your project

  • Review a range of Riverwoods resources we have provided (scroll down this page)
  • Find out how others have pioneered partnership projects for innovative financing of nature restoration, and the kind of investors that have taken an interest 
  • Get involved in our Riverwoods community work, led by Involve UK
  • Arrange a chat with us – contact the Riverwoods Team through this contact form.

Inform your initial planning by reviewing our Riverwoods resources: 

  • Use our handy guide to identify the building blocks you may need, and a checklist on who will benefit for your project
  • Our Riverwoods Storymap resource will help you communicate the value of your initiative to communities and partners
  • Our Riverwoods Evidence Review report will give you a detailed insight into the evidence base for river woods restoration
  • Get a high level view with SEPA’s flood risk maps Flood maps | Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) 
  • Find out more about delivering river restoration in our resources section (scroll down)

We will also provide the following support: 

Visibility to funders and potential partners –

  • By putting forward your proposal, we will help you reach out and identify potential delivery partnerships through the Riverwoods programme 

Opportunity mapping support

  • We will provide you with resources and guides to help you find complementary projects and funding, that could support your project even if it is not selected for investment readiness.
  • Note in particular the resources that may help you with the technical considerations of your project: Riverwoods Targeting Tool, Diffuse Pollution, and Riverwoods Evidence Review.


Do you have questions? Do you want to talk this through? Do you need guidance? 

For viable projects, we can put you in touch with organisations that can advise or help with river woodland restoration. This includes the following:

  • Specialist carbon advice from the Woodland Trust
  • Specialist commercial viability advice is available from Dan Hird who advised the four English river catchment restoration projects referenced below.
  • Specialist scientific advice via the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Specialist community engagement advice provided via Involve UK.

Need help?

Contact the Riverwoods Team

Riverwoods Pioneers Resources

Riverwoods Investment Readiness Pioneers – Learning Reflections & Toolkit

Riverwoods Investment Readiness Pioneers is a project that aims to connect diverse groups of people in Scotland to explore and develop nature-based financing solutions. This initiative provided a platform for communities, landowners, and other stakeholders to collaborate and identify potential Riverwoods projects that could be financed using innovative mechanisms beyond traditional grants. The project sought to harness the collective agency

Riverwoods Evidence Review

Use our Riverwoods Evidence Review, commissioned by the Riverwoods Science Group to assess the benefits that Riverwoods can provide. 

Mapping resource – Riverwoods targeting tool

This mapping tool helps you target where to focus river woodlands to achieve different benefits and avoid certain areas which may be sensitive to creating river woodlands such as peatlands and areas with breeding waders.

Guide to planning your project

What benefits will your project provide?   Who will benefit from your restoration project?  Have you identified the building blocks for your project? 

Diffuse pollution and Riverwoods

This is the link to where people can find out more about diffuse pollution compliance and diffuse pollution priority catchments. 

What next when?

We are currently working on the design for the following components, and would welcome your thoughts.

Click on the following links to access and comment directly on their entries on the Ideas Wall 

If you would like to flag your interest as a prospective project at this stage, please contact us directly.