Red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris, in woodland, Formby NT reserve, Merseyside

Award categories

Find out more about the different areas of conservation the Nature of Scotland Awards celebrate.

Our award categories

Celebrating the inspiring people, projects and organisations across different aspects of nature conservation in Scotland, the Nature of Scotland Awards 2018 saw the return of the Sustainable Development Award and, in celebration of the Year of Young People, the new RSPB Young Nature Champion Award was created. Learn more about the nine award categories below.

Business Award

This award will recognise and celebrate businesses, large and small, that can clearly demonstrate what they have done for the benefit of nature in Scotland. We are looking to hear from businesses that stand out from the crowd by doing things differently and the application will be judged based on the impact delivered in proportion to the size of business and available resource.

Maybe you have developed exemplary and innovative sustainable practices or an individual project that delivers for nature conservation in Scotland. Perhaps you have created a ground-breaking partnership that enables your business to make a significant direct contribution or maybe your work helps assist the conservation sector to save threatened Scottish species.

Community Initiative Award

Sponsored by GreenPower

This award will go to an outstanding community-based initiative that clearly demonstrates what they have done for the benefit of nature. The project should be developed and led by the people it serves, acting as an inspiration to others and offering real value to the whole community.

Food & Farming Award

Sponsored by The James Hutton Institute

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

Sponsored by Balfour Beatty

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 – perhaps you have pioneered a project that is the first of its kind or you have approached something that has been done before in a new way.

Nature Tourism Award

Sponsored by Scottish Water

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.

Political Advocate of the Year Award

Do you know a politician, campaigner or individual who has made a difference or significant impact on public policy for nature and wildlife? This award is to recognise and celebrate the movers and shakers who go beyond the day-to-day to ensure our natural heritage is not only protected but enhanced for all and future generations.

They might be a politician, be it Councillor, MSP, MP or MEP; a campaigner from an environmental NGO; a dedicated public servant or an extraordinary active individual who cares. This is our chance to thank them for what they do and motivate them to keep aiming higher and greener!

RSPB Young Nature Champion Award

Sponsored by ScottishPower

In recognition of the Year of Young People 2018, this award celebrates the achievements of young people (aged 8 to 26) making a positive impact on nature in Scotland. To be shortlisted for this award the entrant must demonstrate what they have done for the benefit of nature, highlighting achievements and positive results. It could be through paid or unpaid work, where they have taken the lead or demonstrated key involvement in a project, they could have championed a species within their community, school or across the nation shouting loud for nature and its protection. Perhaps this has involved undertaking research or project work which has made an impact on the conservation of Scottish species or habitats or the individual has become an advocate for Scotland’s biodiversity, raising awareness and creating a positive impact. Share and celebrate young people’s influence and talent by applying or submitting a nomination for your young nature champion.

Sustainable Development Award

Sponsored by The Ardmore

Nominations in this category will show how research, initiative, planning or development has had a positive effect on nature conservation linked to Scotland. You may have been engaged in a successful consultation prior to a development, developed an innovative new policy or perhaps you have delivered habitat management or species protection on the ground.

The award will also celebrate new developments being delivered in a sustainable way, for example by building green habitats and infrastructure into new built developments or local authority policy makers and planners delivering wildlife conservation policies and practices on the ground.

SNH Youth & Education Award

Sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage

This award honours schools and youth groups which can demonstrate how they have made a real difference to the conservation and sustainability of Scotland’s wildlife and habitats. These projects need to show through evidence and outcomes what they have done in nature, through nature, about nature and for nature.

This could be through fundraising for a conservation-related project, partnership working, best practice in hands-on delivery of learning for sustainability or connecting young people to the natural world. If you are an Eco School or a member of the Green Flag scheme, your application must show how the platform has been used to deliver additional activities to those expected as part of this scheme.

Tell us why your group is head and shoulders above the rest and spread the word on the results you have achieved!