Loch Garten RSPB reserve

2017 winners and shortlist

The shortlist for the 2017 awards represent a cross-section of businesses, charities, the public sector and individuals working towards conserving the country’s unique wildlife and natural environment.

Our 2017 awards

Thank you to everyone who entered the awards in their sixth year and congratulations to our shortlist and winners!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our entrants, sponsors, supporters and volunteers who facilitated the Nature of Scotland Awards 2017. It was with your support that the event was such a great success.

Over 330 guests attended the awards Presentation Dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in November 2017 with 47 finalists celebrated across nine categories. 

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

Our winners

Community Initiative Award

  • Winner: Tayport Community Garden

Tayport Community Garden is accessible and welcomes people of all ages to enjoy growing food together, particularly wanting children to experience delight in the natural world to encourage respect and care for the environment. They also bring together people to learn about nature, carbon footprints and the impact of climate change. Find out more about the Tayport Community Garden.

Corporate Award

  • Winner: DEEP - Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project

The Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project is restoring native oyster beds to the Dornoch Firth, significantly improving biodiversity and water quality. The project is a collaboration between The Glenmorangie Company, Heriot-Watt’s Centre of Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology and The Marine Conservation Society. Find out more about the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project.

  • Highly Commended: PwC Environmental Volunteering Programme

PwC’s new approach to environmental volunteering embeds an education element into the experience. Through this approach, they aim to increase their people’s knowledge and awareness of key environmental issues, with a view to helping them understand the services provided by the natural world and their role in protecting it. Find out more about the PwC Environmental Volunteering Programme.

Food & Farming Award

  • Winner: Ruthven Farm, Tomintoul

Ruthven Farm on The Crown Estate owned Glenlivet Estate, is run by the Simmons family who have embraced the responsibility of caring for biodiversity, running a commercial business and providing an inspirational model for others to do the same. Find out more about the Glenlivet Estate.

  • Highly Commended: Castlemains Climate Change Focus Farm

The family run farm, Castlemains, is part of a three year project aiming to showcase measures that farmers can take to minimise their carbon footprint whilst also reducing input costs. The farm has a network of good wildlife habitats too. Find out more about Climate Change Focus Farm’s.

Innovation Award

  • Winner: DON'T STEP THERE, YOU'LL SINK! Jump on, we'll ride.

John Mackay Ltd is an innovative pioneer in the development and operation of specialised machinery to run on fragile, peatland sites, used to bring about restoration of blanket bog habitat that was severely damaged by ploughing and planting of non-native coniferous trees in the 1980s.

Marine Conservation Award

  • Winner: The Great Nurdle Hunt

The Great Nurdle Hunt encourages volunteers to search shorelines for nurdles, microplastic pellets used to make virtually all plastic products. Accidental spills mean the pellets end up at sea and can harm marine wildlife. The charity Fidra is working with industry to help end this source of pollution. Find out more about The Great Nurdle Hunt.

Nature Tourism Award

  • Winner: North West Highlands Snorkel Trail 

The North West Highlands Snorkel Trail is the first of its kind in Scotland, inviting local people and visitors to dive in and experience the area’s marine life. In doing so the trail encourages greater understanding of the biodiversity found in our seas, and the need to protect it for the future. Find out more about the North West Highland Snorkel Trail.

  • Highly Commended: The WiSe Scheme - safe and sustainable marine life watching

The WiSe Scheme (Wildlife Safe) is the national standard training course providing commercial boat operators and the public with key information to ensure they can enjoy Scotland’s natural wealth of marine and coastal wildlife, safe in the knowledge they’re doing so without causing harm or disturbance to those species. Find out more about The WiSe Scheme.

Political Advocate of the Year Award

  • Winner: Logan Steele and Andrea Hudspeth

Logan and Andrea secured 7600 signatures over six weeks in support of a public petition that they initiated to introduce a state-regulated licensing system for gamebird hunting in Scotland. They presented evidence in support of this at the Public Petitions Committee who were so compelled that they passed it to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee where they felt appropriate action could be taken. This led to the Cabinet Secretary recommending that the Scottish Government gives consideration to implementing a licensing system for shooting businesses.

RSPB Species Champion Award

  • Winner: Brian Etheridge

Brian led the conservation work to reintroduce red kites to Scotland and was the first to detail the UK-wide impacts of illegal persecution on hen harriers associated with grouse moors. An expert ringer, he is one of the few to attach satellite tags to golden eagles, hen harriers and other rare raptors.

  • Highly Commended: Trossachs Water Vole Re-introduction - Restoring Ratty to the Trossachs

After years of absence, water voles are re-colonising the Trossachs thanks to an ambitious and innovative re-introduction; the first of its kind in Scotland. Over 1,000 animals were released into restored wetlands, on Forest Enterprise Scotland sites in the heart of Scotland’s first National Park. Water voles are now thriving and spreading throughout the Trossachs and beyond. Find out more about the Trossachs Water Vole Re-introduction project.

Youth & Education Award

  • Winner: Cumbernauld Living Landscape - Engaging Communities to Enhance Urban Greenspace

A unique partnership between four high schools and Cumbernauld Living Landscape has helped to develop skills, confidence and health of young people who have been ‘twinned’ with local wild places. The schools have used employability, well-being and creativity to inspire people to come together and deliver community action plans. Find out more about the Cumbernauld Living Landscape project.

  • Highly Commended: From Beach to Parliament; Cramond Primary have the bottle!

From their local beach to the heart of Holyrood, pupils from Cramond Primary School have been making waves highlighting the issue of marine litter and their proposed solutions. They have already donated over 400 hours to picking up more than 5,000 pieces of litter from their local beach as well as taking what they have learnt to two Parliamentary events with their proposed solutions.

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Anne Youngman

An active member of the Central Scotland Bat Group, Anne has championed bats for 14 years through the Scottish Bat Project. She has encouraged others to get involved in bat conservation through delivering talks, training sessions and events and her talent for engaging a wide range of people and organisations has meant more people than ever before are aware of bat conservation in Scotland.

Our shortlist

Community Initiative Award

  • Cumbernauld Living Landscape - Engaging Communities to Enhance Urban Greenspace
  • Greenbuds
  • Growing for Nature
  • Tayport Community Garden
  • The South Seeds Croft

Corporate Award

  • DEEP - Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project
  • Loch Lomond Golf Club Peatland Habitats
  • PwC Environmental Volunteering Programme

Food & Farming Award

  • Clyde Valley Orchard Co-operative
  • Castlemains Climate Change Focus Farm
  • Maddiston Community Growing Area
  • Mull & Iona Food Trail
  • Ruthven Farm, Tomintoul
  • Whitmuir Farm – Modelling a Sustainable Food System

Innovation Award

  • DON'T STEP THERE, YOU'LL SINK! Jump on, we'll ride
  • HiDef Aerial Surveying
  • Mission: wood ant nest translocation
  • North West Highlands Snorkel Trail
  • Seven Lochs Floating Wetlands
  • Welcome through wildlife

Marine Conservation Award

  • Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Research Programme
  • Seasearch in Scotland
  • The Great Nurdle Hunt
  • The WiSe Scheme - safe and sustainable marine wildlife watching
  • Whale detectives - Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme volunteer network

Nature Tourism Award

  • Informing and campaigning for a better marine environment for all
  • North West Highlands Snorkel Trail
  • Shetland Seabird Tours, daily wildlife cruises
  • The WiSe Scheme - safe and sustainable marine life watching
  • Volunteering at The Helix, home of the Kelpies

Political Advocate of the Year Award

  • Claudia Beamish MSP
  • Elizabeth Leighton
  • Ian Duncan MEP
  • Logan Steele and Andrea Hudspeth
  • Mike Robinson
  • Roseanna Cunningham MSP

RSPB Species Champion Award

  • Anne Youngman: A true champion of Scottish Bats
  • Brian Etheridge's pioneering fieldwork has massively benefitted birds of prey
  • Fife and Angus Farmers, Land Managers and Estates for Corn Buntings
  • Pearls in Peril – River Moriston project
  • Trossachs Water Vole Re-introduction - Restoring ratty to the Trossachs

Youth & Education Award

  • Cumbernauld Living Landscape - Engaging Communities to Enhance Urban Greenspace
  • From Beach to Parliament; Cramond Primary have the bottle!
  • Primary Schools Camera Trapping Competition Project
  • Tayport Community Garden
  • The Conservation Volunteers’ Inner Forth Environmental Employability Project
  • Young John Muirs! - Cairngorms National Park Junior Ranger Project