Nature of Scotland Awards unveils 2016 shortlist

Wednesday 7 September 2016

The shortlist for the prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards was unveiled yesterday evening at a Scottish Parliament reception hosted by Mark Ruskell MSP. Now in their fifth year the awards celebrate the people, projects and organisations across the country working to protect our internationally renowned precious wildlife and habitats.

Award judges were overwhelmed by the number of entries and faced some tough decisions as they finalised the shortlist across eight awards, including two new categories for this year: Food and Farming Award and the Corporate Award. The shortlist spans the length and breadth of Scotland and recognises the diversity of ongoing efforts to protect our natural environment from charities, businesses, community trusts, the public sector, partnerships and individuals.

A project that's helped save choughs, part of the crow family, in Scotland, a charity tackling environmental and social problems through food, and a much loved community woodland are some of those to make it onto the shortlist. Others include a peatland restoration project on Shetland, Falkirk's Helix Park, and a project by farmers, land managers and estates to help charismatic birds called corn buntings.

The winners will be revealed at a black tie presentation dinner on 24th November 2016, at a new venue for the awards, the beautiful Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh. Wildlife TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham will host this celebratory event for Scotland's conservation heroes, with over 300 guests, including key decision makers and supporters from industry.

Chris Packham said: "I'm really looking forward to hosting RSPB Scotland's Nature of Scotland Awards this year, and celebrating the efforts of those working hard to safeguard Scottish nature. As this shortlist shows there are people, projects and organisations across Scotland dedicated to protecting its wildlife and wild places, and the presentation dinner will be a fantastic event to mark all their achievements."

This year's awards are supported by ScottishPower, GreenPower, Turcan Connell, The Ardmore and The James Hutton Institute. For 2016 the judging panel chaired by Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, welcomed Ross Martin from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Ian Jardine from Scottish Natural Heritage, BBC Scotland's Euan McIlwraith and the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Susan Davies.

Stuart Housden said: "On behalf of the judges I'd like to thank everyone who entered this year's awards and congratulate those who have made it onto the shortlist. These awards shine a spotlight on the outstanding work taking place across Scotland to conserve our natural heritage. The dedication and commitment from everyone who entered, and of course our shortlisted projects, is truly inspiring and demonstrates just how much people care about our wonderful wildlife. As ever the quality and sheer variety of entries made the judging task a challenging one. Congratulations to all those shortlisted and we're looking forward to celebrating all your achievements at our awards ceremony in November."

For more information on the Nature of Scotland Awards visit:


Shortlist in full

Community Initiative

· Mull Eagle Watch

· Urban Roots

· Concrete Garden: Growing Together

· Evanton Community Wood

· Mull of Galloway Trust

· Nature Observatory at Loch Stiapabhat

Corporate Award

· ScottishPower

· Keeping it Green, the Haggis Way

· The RBS Community Team Programme

· Famous Grouse

Food and Farming

· The Real Junk Food Project

· Fife and Angus Farmers, Land Mangers and Estates for Corn Bunting

· Future Farming Scotland

· Rainton Farm

· Gorgie City Farm


· Cairngorms Scenic Photo Posts

· Magic Margins

· The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve

· The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations

· Shetland Peatland Restoration Project

· Atlas of Living Scotland; building a new biodiversity data infrastructure to support biological recording across Scotland

Nature Tourism

· Helix Park, Falkirk

· Mull Eagle Watch

· Keeping it Green, the Haggis Way

· Mull of Galloway Trust

Politician of the Year

· Claudia Beamish MSP

· Richard Lochhead MSP

· Sarah Boyack

· Mark Ruskell MSP

· Michael Russell MSP

RSPB Species Champion

· Craig Macadam

· Developing Conservation Action for the Chough in Scotland

· RSPB Dolphinwatch Project

· River Goil Habitat Improvement Project

Youth and Education

· Earth Calling - environmental education for the future generation

· The Colin Burt Wildlife Reserve

· The Green Team

· The Vogrie Gang

· Leith Community Crops in Pots

· Gartocharn Primary School

· Kittybrewster Primary School

Eight categories for entry:

· Community Initiative Award

This award will go to an outstanding community-based initiative that benefits nature. The initiative should be developed and led by the people it serves, acting as an inspiration to others and offering real value to the whole community.

· The Corporate Award

This award will recognise and celebrate commercial businesses that are delivering tangible benefits for nature conservation in Scotland. We are looking to hear from businesses of all sizes that stand out from the crowd by doing things differently and are making a real difference for Scottish species and natural landscapes.

· Food and Farming Award

The way our food is produced can have negative impacts on the environment. But some individuals, businesses and organisations are doing things differently; taking steps to reduce their own environmental footprint and helping consumers make good food choices. Whether that's wildlife-friendly farmers, for example, or cafes and caterers reducing food waste and carefully sourcing ingredients, this award celebrates our sustainable food champions.

· Innovation Award

Awarded to the most innovative project, initiative, practice, or technique (management or otherwise) that has aided nature conservation. Entries for this award need to stand out as being different - it could be a project that is the first of its kind, or something that has been done before but has been approached differently.

· Nature Tourism Award

This award will go to a nature-based tourism organisation or initiative that stands above its peers for its contribution to conservation. The winner will provide more than a wildlife experience, demonstrating a significant and lasting contribution to nature conservation in Scotland. Tour companies, accommodation providers, attractions, wildlife guides and engagement activities are all welcome to apply. Please remember to provide results.

· Politician of the Year Award

Awarded to the politician that has made an outstanding contribution to nature conservation in the last year. The award is open to any elected representative (MSP, MP, MEP or local councillor) who has links to Scotland or Scottish nature conservation.

· RSPB Species Champion Award

To be shortlisted for this award, the entrant will have achieved something extraordinary to conserve a vulnerable or threatened species.

· Youth and Education Award

This award honours a school or youth group, which can demonstrate how they have made a real difference to the conservation and sustainability of Scotland's wildlife and habitats. This could be through fundraising for a conservation-related project, partnership working or best practice in hands-on delivery of learning for sustainability, connecting young people to the natural world.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Country: Scotland Topic: Giving Nature a Home