Nature of Scotland Awards shortlist announced

Norette Ferns

RSPB Scotland have announced the shortlist for their Nature of Scotland Awards 2017.

The awards find and celebrate the most dedicated and passionate people working to protect Scotland's internationally renowned wildlife and habitats.

The 2017 shortlist spans nine categories including Nature Tourism, Innovation and Marine Conservation with entries coming from individuals, community groups, charities, businesses, volunteers and schools the length and breadth of Scotland. The shortlist includes the reintroduction of water voles and projects protecting farmland birds to 'whale detectives' and the creation of a new snorkel trail.

The successful entries were unveiled at a special Scottish Parliament reception hosted by Claudia Beamish MSP. On the judging panel were Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland, Euan McIlwraith, BCC TV and radio presenter and wildlife expert, Susan Davies, Director of Conservation at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Vince McKeown, Commercial Operations Director at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and Susan Murray, Board Member for Scottish Natural Heritage. 

Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland, said:

"Thank you to everyone who entered our Nature of Scotland Awards this year, the quality of entries has been outstanding and our judges had a tough task whittling the numbers down. It’s inspiring and humbling to see so many people working to protect, promote and enhance Scotland’s natural heritage, they should all be very proud of their efforts, but a special congratulations has to go to the 2017 shortlist, they’ve done incredibly well to make it this far. I look forward to finding out more about the important work they’re doing to help wildlife and celebrating their achievements at the award ceremony in November."

The winners will be revealed at a presentation dinner hosted by Mike Dilger, ecologist, natural history presenter and writer, and Euan McIlwraith, BBC TV and radio presenter, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh, on Thursday 23 November.

Shortlist in full

RSPB Species Champion Award:

  • Anne Youngman: A True Champion Scottish Bats
  • Brian Etheridge's pioneering fieldwork has massively benefitted birds of prey
  • Fife and Angus Farmers, Land Managers and Estates for Corn Buntings
  • Pearls in Peril – River Moriston project
  • Trossachs Water Vole Re-introduction - Restoring ratty to the Trossachs

Marine Conservation Award:

  • Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Research Programme
  • Seasearch in Scotland
  • The Great Nurdle Hunt
  • The WiSe Scheme - safe and sustainable marine wildlife watching
  • Whale detectives - Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme volunteer network

Corporate Award:

  • Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP)
  • Loch Lomond Golf Club Peatland Habitats
  • PwC Environmental Volunteering Programme

Political Advocate of the Year Award:

  • Claudia Beamish MSP
  • Elizabeth Leighton
  • Ian Duncan MEP
  • Logan Steele and Andrea Hudspeth
  • Mike Robinson
  • Roseanna Cunningham

Food and Farming Award:

  • Clyde Valley Orchard Co-operative
  • Live and let live
  • Maddiston Community Growing Area 
  • Mull & Iona Food Trail
  • Ruthven Farm, Tomintoul
  • Whitmuir Farm – Modelling a Sustainable Food System

Innovation Award:

  • DON'T STEP THERE, YOU'LL SINK! Jump on, we'll ride
  • High-definition digital video aerial surveys for marine wildlife
  • Mission: wood ant nest translocation
  • North West Highlands Snorkel Trail
  • Seven Lochs Floating Wetlands
  • Welcome through Wildlife

Youth and Education Award:

  • Cumbernauld Living Landscape - Natural Connection
  • From Beach to Parliament; Cramond Primary have the bottle!
  • Primary Schools Camera Trapping Competition project
  • Tayport Community Garden
  • The Conservation Volunteers’ Inner Forth Environmental Employability Project
  • Young John Muirs! - Cairngorms National Park Junior Ranger Project

Community Initiative Award:

  • Cumbernauld Living Landscape
  • Greenbuds
  • Growing for Nature
  • Tayport Community Garden
  • The South Seeds Croft

Nature Tourism Award:

  • Informing and campaigning for a better marine environment for all
  • North West Highlands Snorkel Trail
  • Shetland Seabird Tours, daily wildlife cruises
  • The WiSe Scheme - safe and sustainable marine life watching
  • Volunteering at The Helix, home of the Kelpies

Visit the RSPB Scotland website for find out more.