The fund is designed to support innovative projects to help tackle and raise awareness of wildlife crime in Scotland.

?Projects must improve the gathering and transfer of information and intelligence about crimes or help to prevent wildlife crime,? said a PAW Scotland spokesman.

Each award will be up to £20,000 and for up to 50% of the projects total costs.

The wildlife crime investigations support officer for Scotland at the National Wildlife Crime Unit is currently receiving funding through the scheme, so too is the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust?s project to train wildlife crime officers about the use of traps and snares.

?Tackling wildlife crime is not just the job of the police, everyone can play a role.

Grants can be offered to support individuals and organisations, and you do not need to be a member of PAW Scotland,? added the spokesman. Shooting organisations have welcomed the initiative.

Ross Montague of the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) told Shooting Times: ?The fund is a valuable resource and the SCA encourages anyone with ideas for projects aimed at stamping out wildlife crime to make use of it.?

BASC Scotland?s Dr Colin Shedden added that shooters should get involved: ?There is a subgroup of PAW Scotland that deals with the allocation of the funds, and land managers are well-represented in this group.?

Let us know what you think about this!