Wave Climate Change march, London December 5, 2009

2016 winners and shortlist

Congratulations to our 2016 finalists and winners!

Our 2016 awards

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

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

There were a total of 42 finalists across eight categories. Almost 300 guests attended the Awards presentation dinner at the Prestonfield House Hotel in November 2016.

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

Our winners

Food & Farming Award

  • Winner: Future Farming Scotland

Future Farming Scotland is a unique knowledge, skills and innovation programme which works with farmers and crofters to transform the way we produce food and care for the natural world – using organic farming practices which work in harmony with nature to deliver multiple environmental benefits for people and the planet. Find out more about Future Farming Scotland.

  • Highly Commended: The Real Junk Food Project Edinburgh

The Real Junk Food Project Edinburgh is part of a network of cafés across the UK and beyond which intercepts food that would otherwise go to landfill and use it to make delicious dishes for their café/communities, they use food that is still perfectly edible asking only for contributions on a pay-as-you- feel basis. Find out more about The Junk Food Project.

Corporate Award

  • Winner: A Famous Partnership: RSPB and The Famous Grouse

The RSPB and The Famous Grouse have worked together to help save one of the UK’s most iconic birds – the black grouse. Since 2008, £600,000 has been raised to support grouse conservation, and the partnership stands as an excellent example of mutually beneficial relationship between a brand and a charity. Find out more about The RSPB partnership with The Famous Grouse.

  • Highly Commended: ScottishPower: Tackling climate change and promoting biodiversity in Scotland

The promotion and proactive preservation of biodiversity is woven throughout ScottishPower’s operations across Scotland. The restoration of natural capital is vital for the entire organisation, and its commitment to this is evident in large scale peatland, bog and landscape restoration and habitat management initiatives that are being delivered across its operations. Find out more about Environment programmes by ScottishPower.

Community Initiative Award

  • Winner: Concrete Garden - Growing Together

Concrete Garden believes when communities grow gardens, gardens grow communities and that people live happier, healthier lives when they are learning, playing and growing together. They create opportunity and space for local folk to deliver social and environmental change. Find out more about Concrete Garden.

  • Highly Commended: Evanton Community Wood

The Evanton community wood group has built a substantial woodland cabin to serve as an education base, created a new pond area along with Froglife, improved access to the wood and pond and developed an extensive education programme for all ages. Since the community purchase of the wood in Sept 2012 there have been 800 organised activities with 11,000 participants. Find out more about Evanton Wood.

Politician of the Year Award

  • Winner: Sarah Boyack

A former Lothian and Edinburgh Central MSP since 1999, Sarah Boyack has served as the Convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Environment and Rural Development Committee and was the Deputy Minister for the Environment and Rural Development. She has campaigned against animal cruelty and hunting and contributed to the Climate Change Act. She received the RSPB Goldcrest Award in 2004 for her contribution to environmental policy. Find out more about Sarah Boyak.


  • Winner: The James Hutton Institute - Magic Margins

Farm staff at The James Hutton Institute have developed an innovative approach for protecting our natural capital alongside agricultural arable systems. Their “magic margins” are protecting watercourses and wildlife, safeguarding soil and adding value to habitats and biodiversity. These field margins could be replicated around Scotland’s arable area and beyond. Find out more about Magic Margins.

  • Highly Commended: The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations

The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations and accompanying best practice Guidelines provide a framework for evaluating whether, and how, to undertake conservation translocations in Scotland. They are the first of their kind in the world and were launched by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change. Find out more about The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations.

  • Highly Commended: Shetland Peatland Restoration Project

Peatland restoration in Shetland has been given in an innovative twist through use of re-cycled locally abundant waste materials from the aquaculture industry. The project has made carbon savings several times over through restoring degraded blanket bog, avoiding the need to freight materials to Shetland and re-use of bulky waste material from salmon farms. Find out more about Shetland Peatland Restoration Project.

Youth & Education Award

  • Winner: Leith Community Crops in Pots

Leith Community Crops in Pots’ aims to encourage food growing, composting, responsible food shopping and the reduction of food waste, and generally raising awareness about sustainable food. The Charity manages Leith Community Croft, a two-acre growing space in densely populated Leith, and created edible schoolyards for local primary schools. Find out more about Crops in Pots.

  • Highly Commended: Gartocharn Primary School

Gartocharn Primary School lies within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and is on the doorstep of some of Scotland’s best wildlife and scenic areas. For the past two years, the school has been developing a new way of engaging pupils with the environment and a major part of the structure of the education here involves learning about the environment with a particular focus on the local area. Find out more about Gartoncharn Primary School.

Nature Tourism Award

  • Winner: Mull Eagle Watch

Mull Eagle Watch started as a species protection partnership for the reintroduced white-tailed eagle. Today, Mull Eagle Watch is empowering local people with a new and innovative model for community enterprise. They are proof that species recovery has tangible benefits for local communities; generating both educational and economic output. Find out more about Mull Eagle Watch.

  • Highly Commended: Mull of Galloway Trust

The Mull of Galloway Trust was set up in order to facilitate a community buy-out of the Mull of Galloway in order to safeguard and develop the area for the benefit of the local community in a sustainable way and through local partnership working. Find out more about Mull of Galloway Trust.

RSPB Species Champion Award

  • Winner: Craig Macadam

Craig Macadam has championed the conservation of invertebrates for nearly a decade and has developed Buglife Scotland from a single part-time post to an established conservation organisation with 5 members of staff. His passion and enthusiasm inspires others and has delivered positive results for invertebrate conservation in Scotland. Find out more about Buglife Scotland.

  • Highly Commended: Developing Conservation Action for the Chough in Scotland

Over the last 30 years the Scottish Chough Study Group, Scotland’s Rural College, University of Aberdeen and University of Glasgow have not only worked tirelessly to better understand what drives chough population dynamics on the island of Islay but have also worked closely with Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB Scotland to turn that knowledge into conservation action which is helping prevent the species’ extinction in Scotland. Find out more about Scotland's Rural College.

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Brian and Sandy Coppins

Brian and Sandy have gone from being the only two professional lichenologists in Scotland in 2002 to being the heart of, and the inspiration for, an active movement of both professional and citizen scientist lichenologists who are active in conservation work across the country. Their commitment to lichens, to conservation, and to the importance of these organisms in understanding ecosystem health drove them to establish a vibrant group of new lichen enthusiasts which flourishes in Scotland today.

For many years they developed and ran the annual residential Kindrogan lichen workshop and made this the premier venue for the field identification of lichens in the UK, and they continue to provide specialist workshops. They are both very active members of the British Lichen Society, both have held the position of President, and they both continue to have an active role in the society.

In a time of great environmental change and upheaval, lichens remain an important and valuable bioindicator. Our current appreciation of the practical conservation of lichens is founded on an ability to identify them and understand their distributions. Developing this fundamental knowledge has been led jointly by Brian and Sandy Coppins over many years.

Our shortlist

Food & Farming Award

  • Fife and Angus Farmers, Land Mangers and Estates for Corn Buntings
  • Future Farming Scotland
  • Gorgie City Farm
  • Rainton Farm
  • The Real Junk Food Project

Corporate Award

  • Famous Grouse
  • Keeping it Green, the Haggis Way
  • The RBS Community Team Programme
  • ScottishPower

Politician of the Year Award

  • Claudia Beamish MSP
  • Sarah Boyack
  • Richard Lochhead MSP
  • Mark Ruskell MSP
  • Michael Russell MSP

Innovation Award

  • NBN Atlas Scotland
  • Cairngorms Scenic Photo Posts
  • The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve
  • “Magic Margins”
  • The Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations
  • Shetland Peatland Restoration Project

RSPB Species Champion Award

  • Craig Macadam
  • Developing Conservation Action for the Chough in Scotland
  • River Goil Habitat Improvement Project
  • RSPB Dolphinwatch Project

Community Initiative Award

  • Concrete Garden: Growing Together
  • Evanton Community Wood
  • Mull Eagle Watch
  • Mull of Galloway Trust
  • Nature Observatory at Loch Stiapabhat LNR
  • Urban Roots

Youth & Education Award

  • Colin Burt Wildlife Reserve
  • Earth Calling - environmental education for the future generation
  • Gartocharn Primary School
  • The Green Team
  • Kittybrewster Primary School
  • Leith Community Crops in Pots
  • The Vogrie Gang

Nature Tourism Award

  • Helix Park, Falkirk
  • Keeping it Green, the Haggis Way
  • Mull Eagle Watch
  • Mull of Galloway Trust