About the CEI


Our Vision

The East Ayrshire Coalfield region will contain thriving communities, living and working within a high quality natural environment.

These communities will derive a sense of pride from their local landscape.  They will gain improved quality of life through engagement with and access to a quality environment.

Through partnership we will enhance the wildlife value of the area on a landscape scale, creating connecting areas of quality natural habitat.

What is the CEI?

The East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative (CEI) is a partnership between local authority and conservation bodies, working together to enhance, conserve and promote the environment in East Ayrshire.

Our Aims

  • To enhance the natural environment and landscape within the CEI project area.
  • To increase understanding and appreciation of East Ayrshire’s wildlife and its value, providing and developing opportunities for learning about and experiencing wildlife.
  • To increase community participation in wildlife conservation, enabling local people to contribute to environmental improvements and develop new skills.

Our Position

  • Habitat enhancement and restoration can play an important part in the regeneration of areas affected by industry.
  • Wildlife conservation is most effective when delivered on a landscape scale and within green networks.
  • Partnership working is a powerful and effective way to bring change to an area by delivering innovative projects.
  • Locally driven solutions are essential, especially when young people have the chance to engage in local action.
  • Creating habitats that are robust and adaptable will help biodiversity cope with threats such as climate change.


The East Ayrshire Coalfield comprises of a number of small communities set within an extensive rural area encompassing many different habitats. These habitats support a wide range of biodiversity and have been influenced by human activity throughout their history. The East Ayrshire Coalfield includes an abundance of areas that are locally, nationally and internationally recognised for their wildlife importance, as well as both former and operational surface coal mines.

Our Work

  • We create new and improved habitats, which have a high value for wildlife. These habitats include native woodland, farmland and wetlands and can be located on restored surface mines or elsewhere.
  • We encourage healthier communities by encouraging people to spend time outside in their local greenspace and by working with volunteers to engage with the environment through practical projects.
  • We assist schools and youth groups with environmental education. This can include supporting young people towards their John Muir Awards, teaching classes about birds and conservation and helping school eco-committees develop their gardening skills.
  • We run community projects and events. These aim to include people from a range of demographic groups and explore topics such as local species, local history, access, climate change and gardening. Through community projects and interpretation we hope to increase understanding of the East Ayrshire environment.
  • We respond to enquires and requests from the local community. We are keen for local groups to highlight new project ideas and we regularly liaise with local people through community meetings.
  • We work in partnership with other organisations and also with landowners and communities to create better local environments.


The East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative is supported by a steering group and board of partner organisations who share common aims. Our projects have been funded through a range of grants and charitable donations. Employment of the CEI staff and delivery of our projects is entirely dependent on this support and we continue to seek new partners and funders to help us deliver our vision.

To find out more about our activities, please see our current and past projects.