Finalists for the Helping it Happen Awards 2022 Announced

Alan Robertson

The Helping it Happen Awards 2022, run by Scottish Land & Estates, have announced the finalists within five of their nine categories. Each of the categories focuses on an area in which rural businesses are positively impacting Scotland’s economy and environment.

The overall focus of the Helping it Happen Awards is on recognising the role estates, farms and rural businesses play in enabling and supporting success in rural communities, rural businesses and rural landscapes.

The awards saw close to 100 top quality entries when they closed for entries last month.

The Helping it Happen Awards 2022 are supported by headline sponsors NatureScot. The following finalists have been selected:

  • Conservation Award – sponsored by Anderson Strathern
    • River Carron Conservation Association – a collaboration to re-establish a viable Atlantic salmon population in the River Carron.
    • The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project – an ambitious project which sees land managers and conservationists work to increase the breeding population of golden eagles in Southern Scotland.
    • West Loch Ness Farmer Cluster (WLNFC) – a group of eight farms working with the Forestry Commission to put wildlife and biodiversity at the heart of land management.
  • Education – sponsored by Bell Ingram
    • The ‘Be Your Best Self’ Programme – a personal development programme for women in agriculture, designed to build confidence and resilience and help women to identity their strengths and build networks.
    • ‘Captain Partridge and the Farm Monsters’ Feast’ by Katrina Candy – a book publishing venture which explores aspects of rural management in a format accessible to children.
    • Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups (Estates that Educate) – a free countryside education project working with both primary and secondary age children.
  • Enhancing our Environment through Land Management – sponsored by NatureScot
    • Clyde Peatland – a Green Network Blueprint project undertaking peatland restoration in the Glasgow City region.
    • Highlands Rewilding Ltd – a project looking to rewild and re-people the Scottish Highlands by increasing carbon sequestration, growing biodiversity and creating green jobs.
    • The Mountains and The People – the largest and most complex upland path project every undertaken in the UK, creating and rebuilding footpaths on some of the Highlands’ most iconic hills.
  • Innovation in Farming – sponsored by Douglas Home & Co
    • Andrew & Kate Duncan (A Highland Life) – a farming couple from Highland Perthshire who are pioneering in commercially adopting virtual livestock fencing in Scotland.
    • FastBreeders – a collaborative breeding project run by a group of farmers in South West Scotland who recognised the need to improve the sustainability of their businesses and their dairy cows.
    • SKAi - SoilEssentials KORE Artificial Intelligence Platform – a retrainable smart camera solution for agriculture, offering detection and management of weeds.
  • Iver Salveson Award for Combatting Climate Change – sponsored by Murray Beith Murray
    • Wildflower Roundabouts – a Highland Council project that has successfully established wildflower roundabouts to help pollinators.
    • S’Wheat – the East Lothian based brand behind the world’s first plant-based reusable bottle.
    • Caledonian Climate Partners Ltd – an environmental service and consultancy firm working with landowners, communities and businesses to revitalise Scotland’s peatlands.

Sarah-Jane Laing, Scottish Land & Estates Chief Executive, and a member of the judging panel, said:

“Our judging day was such a privilege for all involved. It’s not often you see a hundred inspiring businesses, initiatives and projects all in one place and we all came away feeling inspired by and proud of rural Scotland.

“The judges noted, in particular, strong success stories of collaboration, national impact and projects which are going that extra step in terms of delivering for people and nature. Selecting the winners was no easy task but we look forward to recognising them, and all those shortlisted, at the ceremony in October.”

Claudia Rowse, NatureScot’s Deputy Director Green Economy said:

“We are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Helping it Happen Awards and are impressed by the quantity and quality of applications.  All the projects vividly demonstrate how the environment and communities can be put at the heart of developing thriving rural businesses.  It is heartening to see the positive work to tackle the nature and climate crisis, and how progressive land-based businesses are taking action so that we all benefit from a nature-rich future.”

Finalists within the remaining four categories (Rural Business Award; Rural Housing Award; Tourism and Visitor Management Award & Working with Communities Award) will be announced next week.

All award winners, in addition to a small number of special judge awards, will be announced at the Helping it Happen Awards ceremony which will take place on 5th October at The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh.