Landscape at dusk, Cliffe, Kent

2015 winners and shortlist

Congratulations to our 2015 finalists and winners!

Our 2015 awards

Thank you to everyone who entered the awards in their fourth year!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our entrants, sponsors, supporters and volunteers who facilitated and encouraged the fourth annual Nature of Scotland Awards. It was with your support that the event was such a great success.

There were a total of 30 finalists across eight categories and over 200 guests attended the Awards presentation dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in November 2015.

Details of the award winners and highly-commended entries can be found below.

Our winners

Marine Conservation Award

  • Winner: KIMO UK - Fishing for Litter Scotland

Marine litter kills thousands of seabirds, fish and mammals every year, is an eyesore on our beaches and costs the fishing industry money in lost time. Fishermen and harbour staff volunteer their time to collect litter caught in fishing nets. Fishing for Litter Scotland ensures that barriers are removed by providing collection bags and disposing of the litter - both simple and effective. Find out more about KIMO UK.

Sustainable Development

  • Winner: Peatland Restoration at Blacklaw and Whitelee windfarm

At Black Law and Whitelee Windfarms, Scottish Power Renewables has developed innovative new techniques for developing large-scale peatland restoration, particularly following forestry. These techniques could lead to a reduction in cost and increase in effectiveness of peatland restoration in Scotland and beyond. Find out more about ScottishPower.

  • Highly Commended - East Tullos Burn Environment Improvement Project

The East Tullos Burn in Aberdeen had been neglected in the past and had become an eyesore with little biodiversity. With the help of the local community and stakeholders, the burn was transformed into an accessible urban natural wildlife haven and is now enjoyed by local communities and visitors, and will continue to be by future generations. Find out more about Aberdeen City Council.

Community Initiative

  • Winner - Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust

Castle Loch came up for sale in 2013 and the residents of Lochmaben and surrounds rallied together under the banner of Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust to purchase this SSSI site. From 2014 the Trust’s ownership ensured the continued wildlife conservation of the site, while encouraging involvement from the whole community and visitors to Dumfries and Galloway. Find out more about Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust.

  • Highly Commended – The Children’s Wood

The Children’s Wood on North Kelvin Meadow, and the Meadow itself, make up the last wild space in the west-end of Glasgow. The Children’s Wood is a grassroots community initiative to get children and the community outside into their local green space. There are multiple weekly volunteer-led activities such as outdoor play sessions and playgroups, 14 schools and nurseries can, and do, walk to the land for outdoor learning. The local communities use the land as an “outdoor community centre”, growing fresh produce, exercising, and hosting regular community events. Events and activities are initiated, organised, fundraised for and delivered by over 150 volunteers. Find out more about The Children's Wood.

Politician of the Year

  • Winner - Cllr Martha Wardrop

Martha Wardrop has represented the Hillhead district since 2007. She was one of the first Green Councillors elected to Glasgow City Council in May 2007. She is convenor the councils of the Energy and Carbon Working Group. Find out more about Councillor Martha Wardrop.

  • Winner - Paul Wheelhouse

Paul Wheelhouse is currently SNP MSP for the South of Scotland. He was elected in 2011 and has held ministerial posts for Environment and Climate Change and currently Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs.

Innovation

  • Winner - Cairngorms Peatland Restoration

One-fifth of the Cairngorms National Park is blanket bog with over half in a degraded state. Supported by Scottish Natural Heritage’s Peatland Action restoration work was carried out at three sites, covering 367 hectares, using techniques new to Scotland that will restore peatland ecosystems and enhance carbon stores. Find out more about Cairngorms Peatland Restoration.

  • Highly Commended - Winter Woodlands Greenability Programme, TCV Scotland

The Winter Woodlands Greenability Programme (WWGP) provided the chance for people with a wide range of disabilities to get outside and get closer to nature. For many people with a disability just getting out of the front door can be a major challenge – but this programme demonstrated a wonderful level of willingness and enthusiasm from a wide range or organisations to bring people with disabilities closer to nature. Find out more about The Community Volunteering Charity in Scotland.

Youth and Education

  • Winner - Belhaven Hill School

Our school aims to improve our local environment as a haven for native wildlife through a programme of meaningful and educational conservation activities. We see the integration of these activities with our academic curriculum as a key means of delivering both an enriched learning environment and the importance of living a healthy and environmentally responsible lifestyle. Find out more about Belhaven Hill School.

  • Highly Commended – Hillhead High School, John Muir Award

For the last two years Hillhead High School has been working to complete the John Muir Discovery Award with the whole of the S1 year group including 185 children each year. This is run in partnership with RSPB Scotland, Glasgow life, GOW and Woodlands community garden, and Partick Housing Association. Find out more about Hillhead High School.

  • Highly Commended – Positive Achievements, East Dunbartonshire Council

Positive Achievements is a partnership-funded project, managed by East Dunbartonshire Council to support vulnerable young people into employment, education, training and/or volunteering. Our conservation initiative helps them make a difference to their environment while gaining skills and experience to help them move into positive destinations. Primary funder: the Big Lottery. Find out more about East Dunbartonshire Council.

Nature Tourism

  • Isle of May NNR Visitor Centre

The new Isle of May Visitor Centre provides a high quality visitor experience, providing essential facilities and a unique vantage point to unobtrusively observe the island’s spectacular seabirds and seals. Information is provided about the islands rich natural heritage and the links between wildlife and the marine environment. Find out more about Isle of May National Nature reserve.

  • Highly Commended – Williamwood Farm

Williamwood is an agri-tourism business where we “go the extra mile” for Nature and our visitors. Farming and the environment are equal partners here and demonstrating that to our visitors is a driving force, alongside our belief that this sort of approach should be a greater part of the way forward for Scottish agriculture. Find out more about Williamwood Farm.

  • Highly Commended – Scottish Seabird Centre

A conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre is dedicated to inspiring people to appreciate and care for Scotland’s amazing marine wildlife. The five star attraction attracts over 270,000 visitors a year who can control interactive live cameras to see wildlife in its natural habitat including the world’s largest Northern gannet colony on the Bass Rock. The proposed National Marine Centre will build on the Centre’s success. Find out more about The Scottish Seabird Centre.

RSPB Species Champion

  • Winner - Delivering advice to benefit the marsh fritillary in Scotland

Management advice was delivered to over 200 sites across 20 meta-populations to assist farmers gain entry into agri-environment schemes to benefit the marsh fritillary butterfly. The success of this project is solely due to the co-operation and goodwill of the site landowners/managers and their agents, and the willingness to work together, and has become a blueprint for delivering management advice for threatened species. Find out more about Butterfly Conservation.

  • Highly Commended – Mike Peacock

Mike Peacock has worked tirelessly during his phenomenal career to preserve and encourage the growth of corncrake and chough populations in Scotland and further afield. His expertise and knowledge on these birds truly make him a champion for conserving both these enigmatic and iconic species.

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Winners - Philip and Mrytle Ashmole

Philip and Myrtle Ashmole are perhaps best known in Scotland today as the leading lights behind the Carrifran Wildwood project of Borders Forest Trust.

They are also modest and would want to stress that establishment of the Wildwood involves an incredible communal effort by volunteers and contributors. This visionary ecological restoration initiative, eight miles northeast of Moffat, is transforming a heavily grazed upland glen into a carefully - but actively - restored patchwork of wooded wild land.

Myrtle and Philip have been supporters of the RSPB since their school days in the 1950s. 

An expedition to Ascension Island marked the beginning of their work on global seabird biology, applied to real environmental issues. The island studies extended further as their research, discoveries and publications moved to the fascinating field of island endemics – especially birds and the arthropods of lava flows and volcanic caves – including uncovering evidence of lost island species on some of the world’s most remote oceanic islands. 

Rarely have a couple achieved so much for ecology and conservation with such a fantastic level of energy and productivity.

  • Winners - Mike and Val Peacock

Mike Peacock retired this year after an incredibly successful and devoted 31 years with the RSPB, none of which would have been as incredible or successful without the complete support and devotion of his wife, Val.

A lifetime of wardening, monitoring, habitat creation and management on the spectacular edges of the UK, Mike and Val's passion for wild places has taken them on an amazing island odyssey that has included Bardsey, Fair Isle, Fetlar, Islay and Oronsay.

Mike's keen attention to ecological detail has delivered optimal habitat management for waders, red-necked phalarope, corncrake, chough, mining bees and Irish ladies tresses and his wetland creation at Loch Gruinart is now the largest roost site for Greenland white-fronted geese in the UK.

Throughout all, Val has been there to provide the logistics, organisation, admin, guest service, catering and back room support.

Together they have been an unstoppable force for nature conservation, inspiring all who have had the pleasure to meet, work with them or witness what they have achieved.

Our shortlist

The judges reached their final decision, and below is the shortlist for the fourth annual Nature of Scotland Awards.

The shortlist represents a cross section of businesses, charities, the public sector and individuals working toward conserving the country’s unique wildlife and natural environment.

Marine Conservation Award

  • KIMO UK's Fishing for Litter Scotland
  • Orkney Shellfish Research Project
  • Save Scottish Seas (LINK staff and MTF)
  • Seasearch in Scotland 

Sustainable Development Award

  • East Tullos Burn Environment Improvements
  • MacRobert Trust
  • Peatland restoration at Blacklaw and Whitelee Windfarms

Politician of the Year Award

  • Alyn Smith MEP
  • Ian Duncan MEP
  • Cllr Martha Wardrop
  • Paul Wheelhouse MSP
  • Sarah Boyack MSP

Innovation Award

  • Cairngorms Peatland Restoration
  • Scottish Tree of the Year
  • Winter Woodlands Greenability Programme - TCV Scotland

RSPB Species Champion Award

  • Cairngorms Capercaillie Framework
  • Delivering advice to benefit Marsh Fritillary in Scotland
  • Mike Peacock

Community Initiative

  • Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust
  • Space to Grow - TCV Scotland
  • The Children's Wood

Youth and Education

  • Belhaven Hill School Conservation Club
  • Hillhead High School, John Muir Award
  • North East Scotland Schools Camera Trapping Project
  • Positive Achievements, East Dunbartonshire Council

Nature Tourism

  • Get Wild about Argyll / Argyll & the Isles Tourism Cooperative
  • Isle of May NNR Visitor Centre
  • Scottish Seabird Centre
  • Williamwood Farm