2012 winners and finalists

Congratulations to our 2012 winners and finalists!

Innovation Award

Winner – Branching Out

Branching Out is an innovative partnership project offering greenspace and conservation on referral for mental health service users.  Patients, and referring staff, are supported to become active in their environment, to learn new skills and to progress onto local community volunteer projects, training and outdoor activities.

Highly Commended - Carrifran Wildwood: Ecological Restoration from the Grass Roots

The visionary Carrifran Wildwood project of Borders Forest Trust aims to restore a whole valley in the Moffat Hills to its original wilderness state. It was conceived, planned and brought to fruition by volunteers, and since 1st January 2000 half a million native trees and shrubs have been planted.

Highly Commended - Craigengillan: A Model for Community Regeneration Through Conservation

Craigengillan is an ancient and fascinating estate of 3000 acres, including a wide variety of habitats. It adjoins a former coal mining community, beset by high unemployment and attendant problems. Working together to restore Craigengillan the community has been united, vandalism is history and everyone has a sense of protective ownership.

Marine Award

Winner: Dolphin Space Programme

The Dolphin Space Programme is a positive collaboration between tour boat operators, environmental and other organisations. It enables exciting wildlife-watching experiences while protecting the vulnerable bottlenose dolphin population. Voluntary measures and co-operation over routes avoid over-exposure to boat traffic and disturbance, helping ensure the survival of this most northerly population. Moray Firth Partnership Dolphin Space Programme

Highly commended - Scottish Conservation Credits Scheme (SCCS)

The Scottish Conservation Credits Scheme was set up in 2007-2008 in response to a crisis due to the near collapse of the commercial cod fishery in the north-east Atlantic. Stakeholders decided under a Scottish Government initiative, to sit together to find ways of reconciling short-term conflicting ecological, economic and social priorities in order to secure sustainable fisheries. The aim was to reverse years of overfishing and poor compliance with regulations through greater participation and responsibility in management decisions and use the incentives for fishermen who fish more sustainably.

Outstanding Contribution Award

Winner - Professor Roy Watling MBE

The nominee has attempted over the years, especially the last three, to facilitate fungi taking their rightful place in mainstream conservation and, because of their importance in ecosystems, teach all age-groups from primary school children and students to academics and introduce the public to the wonders of these misunderstood organisms.

Highly Commended - Supt. Alan Smailes, Grampian Lead for Wildlife & Environmental Crime

Superintendent Smailes is the driving force behind the introduction of numerous local and national initiatives aimed at reducing incidences of wildlife crime; focussing his efforts on improving the policing response; partnership working, introducing the first wildlife crime officer and education officers in Scotland, and high profile local and national campaigns.

Politician of the Year

Winner - Richard Lochhead MSP

Richard Lochhead has championed Scotland’s food and drink in a way that markets Scotland as a source of quality products. This not only has economic benefits. It ties the way it is marketed to a healthy environment, and encourages diversification in agriculture and fishing. He has made efforts to put the environment into the Finance Minister’s sustainable economic growth agenda, and to tackle carbon emissions from agriculture.

Highly Commended - Rob Gibson MSP

Rob Gibson MSP has a long-standing interest in the internationally important Flows Country peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland. In recent years, he has been a leading player in highlighting the huge significance of peatlands generally, for wildlife, climate change and people. Through his efforts in the Scottish Parliament within the past couple of years we have seen a strong cross-party agreement on the importance of peatlands.

RSPB Species Champion Award

Winner - Alistair Robb

Farmer, Alastair Robb, has achieved outstanding results for breeding lapwing at his upland livestock farm in Stirlingshire. By deploying an in-bye management system numbers of lapwing have steadily increased.

Alastair enjoys having lapwing and other wildlife on his farm and strives to farm in a way that benefits biodiversity. His farm is also used as a demonstration site for good practise in delivering benefits for waders.

Highly commended - Dundonnell Red Squirrel Reintroduction Project

This project was founded by Jane Rice and, using the expertise of Prof. Roy Dennis and SNH, it has become the most successful private squirrel reintroduction programme of recent times. From 43 translocated animals, the Estate’s squirrel population has reached 300, and is now repopulating surrounding forests for miles around.

Highly Commended - On the Verge

On the Verge is a voluntary, community, project set up in 2010 to tackle the problem of dwindling bee populations by sowing areas of nectar-rich native, wildflowers to provide food sources for pollinators. We work with the people of Stirling to make our city a bee-friendly urban environment. Location: Stirling and surroundings

Sustainable Development Award

Winner - Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP)

Conceived in early 2010 by interested members of the Lochwinnoch community, the LEAP project aims to reduce domestic energy consumption in the 1200 households of Lochwinnoch, and subsequently in the 3,000 households in the three nearby villages, and deliver a positive impact on climate change. To date it has generated impressive results in terms of savings on energy bills and commensurate reductions in local carbon emissions.

RSPB Lifetime Achievement Award

Roley Walton

Roley, 81, a retired biology teacher, pioneered the development of the outdoor classroom. Her vision led to the transformation of her school’s grounds. She continues to lead a community group at home in Livingston regenerating woodland, ponds and local green space enhancing biodiversity for the benefit of present and future generations.


Innovation Award

  • Branching Out: Greenspace and conservation on referral
  • Loch Flemington Restoration Project
  • Craigengillan: A model for Community Regeneration through Conservation
  • Carrifran Wildwood: Ecological Restoration from the Grass Roots
  • Turning back the tide of an invasive alien predator: The Cairngorms mink eradication initiative (Professor Xavier Lambin)

Marine Award

  • SSMO Marine Spatial
  • Management Plan
  • Dolphin pace Programme
  • The Green Blue
  • The Loch Ryan Oyster Fishery Co Ltd.
  • Scottish Conservation
  • Credits Scheme (SCCS)

Outstanding Contribution Award

  • James Rae, founder of Lockerbie Wildlife Trust and of Eskrigg Wildlife Reserve and Eskrigg Visitor Centre
  • Rosalie ‘Roley’ Walton
  • Supt. Alan Smailes, Grampian Lead for Wildlife and Environmental Crime
  • Lord Jamie Lindsay
  • Professor Roy Watling MBE

Politician of the Year

  • Sarah Boyack MSP
  • Richard Lochhead MSP
  • Rob Gibson MSP

RSPB Species Champion Award

  • Applegarthtown Wildlife Sanctuary (artificial nesting banks)
  • On the Verge  - Stirling-based bee conservation initiative
  • Dundonnell Red Squirrel Reintroduction Project
  • Upland farm management for breeding lapwings - Farmer Alastair Robb
  • Concern for Swifts - Glasgow-based project addressing declining swift numbers initiative
  • Capercaillie Management in Multi-Purpose Forests - Forestry Commission Scotland’s Glenmore and Inshriach Forests

Sustainable Development Award

  • Scottish Power Generation Ltd
  • Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP) Lochwinnoch Ltd
  • SOS Puffin
  • Whitelee Windfarm