Wave Climate Change march, London December 5, 2009

2020 winners and shortlist

Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to our shortlist and winners! We would also like to thank our sponsors who helped us in another record-breaking year. It was your support that made the online event such a success.

NatureScot Business Award

Sponsored by NatureScot

Winner: Biosphere - Good for Business!

The UNESCO Biosphere designation is the only global recognition for an area demonstrating excellence in sustainable development. Designated in July 2012 the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere has been developing a growing network of local businesses who work sustainably, supporting their local environment, their local communities and each other.

Highly commended: Building Biodiversity Net Gain into Development

SSEN Transmission have developed and implemented a Scotland specific Biodiversity Net Gain approach to embed biodiversity considerations into every stage of our project cycle, aimed at delivering no net loss in biodiversity in 2020 and net gains on development projects by 2025.

Coast and Waters Award

Sponsored by Scottish Water

Winner: The Hebridean Whale Trail

The Hebridean Whale Trail brings together over 30 of the most beautiful corners of Scotland’s west coast. Places where whales, dolphins and wondrous creatures roam. From dramatic headlands and sea lochs, to white, sandy beaches and bustling harbours, the Hebridean Whale Trail is awash with special places where the land meets the sea.

Highly commended: Flapper Skate Conservation – conservation through collaboration

Conservation of the Critically Endangered flapper skate is an outstanding example of citizen and professional science collaboration; underpinning the establishment of the Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura MPA (the only MPA designated to protect skate in Europe) and continuing to gather data on this enigmatic species throughout Scotland.

Community Initiative Award

Sponsored by GreenPower

Winner: Abriachan: A Community’s Woodland

Abriachan’s community woodland, growing high in the hills above Loch Ness, demonstrates what changes can be achieved when people conserve and care for their local environment.

Highly commended: Speyside Fields for Wildlife: Community Effort for Wildlife

Speyside Fields for Wildlife is a recently formed group which works with local landowners to establish flower meadows for bees and other pollinators and winter seed crops for birds and other wildlife. People from the local community are involved as supporters and volunteers. SFW works closely with the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Highly commended: Castlemilk Park Volunteers - unique green space for all

Castlemilk Park is an urban woodland in the heart of Castlemilk, a housing estate in the South East of Glasgow. Lead by Cassiltoun Housing Association and utilising an asset-based approach, the community-led Castlemilk Park Project continues to restore and conserve these woodlands while delivering health, employability, and early-intervention outcomes.

Conservation Science Award

Sponsored by SAGES

Winner: Dr Róisín Campbell-Palmer - Eurasian Beaver Restoration to Britain / Scotland

Roisin’s long-term work on the Eurasian beaver has brought together multiple strands of research into a practical, applied approach. Her work has directly influenced governments and agencies, helping shape a future for beavers in Scotland and allowing us to learn to co-exist with a keystone species after a 400-year absence.

Highly commended: Dr James Thorburn - Conservation biology of threatened rays and sharks in Scottish waters

Scotland’s waters are home to a number of shark and ray species (elasmobranchs). Some, such as the Spurdog, are classed as Vulnerable and others, such as Common Skate, are Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. In the past decade new research on the movements and spatial ecology of elasmobranchs has provided crucial information for their conservation and helped design marine protected areas.

Highly commended: Dr Georgios Kazanidis - Understanding and conserving vulnerable marine ecosystems in Scotland and the wider North Atlantic

Through cutting-edge research and by raising public awareness, Georgios Kazanidis advances knowledge about the biodiversity, functioning and human pressures on Scottish Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems, working closely with scientists, policy makers and public. By catalyzing the implementation of key marine policies, he serves the conservation of healthy ecosystems for future generations.

Forest and Woodland Award

Sponsored by Confor

Winner: Hitting the Spot - Targeted Trees on Tweed

Working across 5,000km2 of the Tweed Catchment and with over 250 land managers and communities, Tweed Forum has facilitated the planting of over 1 million native broadleaved trees. The core aim has been to carry out targeted planting that delivers multiple benefits including enhancing biodiversity, improving water quality, reducing flooding and storing carbon.

Highly commended: Ben Lawers treeline woodland and scrub restoration project

The National Trust for Scotland has been returning threatened woodland habitats to its Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. Pioneering active restoration has secured populations of rare mountain willow scrub with associated natural plant communities regenerating alongside them. They provide habitats for many invertebrates, many also rare, and birds.

Innovation Award

Winner: Conserving genetic diversity – helping nature to help itself

Genetic diversity is crucial for species survival, but there is no agreed international approach for conserving it. This project developed a novel method for addressing this – establishing a ‘world-first’ standardised risk assessment to identify genetic problems in wild species and to monitor and guide management responses to conserve genetic diversity.

Nature and Climate Action Award

Sponsored by ScottishPower Renewables

Winner: Working Wetlands, Working With Wildlife & Nature

Over the last six years Aberdeen City Council has led the way in managing surface water in innovative ways of working with nature to support climate change actions and enhance biodiversity. These projects have also created features that are enjoyed by local communities and visitors from further afield, both wildlife and human.

Highly commended: BORDERS FOREST TRUST- Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland

A community-based charity working closely with locals and volunteers to restore degraded uplands back into sustainable forest ecosystems. BFT’s vision is to restore lost landscapes which are once again rich in wildlife and biodiversity, and key in playing a part in delivering natural solutions to climate change through new native woodland creation, montane scrub planting and peatland restoration.

Highly commended: Peatland ACTION – Restoring Scotland’s Peatlands

Peatland ACTION is a NatureScot partnership initiative. Drawing on the energy, and support of a wide range of partners and stakeholders Peatland Action restores damaged peatlands across Scotland to produce nature-based solution to climate change. With the ambitious target of 250,000 hectares, and 25,000 hectares already restored, PA provides a solid foundation for the future.

RSPB Species Champion Award

Sponsored by The Ardmore

Winner: Dr Jane Dodd for the Flapper skate

The Flapper skate (Dipturus intermedius, part of the Common skate complex) is the largest skate species in the world. It has suffered massive population reduction and localised extinction over the last 100 years and is a conservation priority. A significant proportion of Jane’s time spent working for SNH over the past decade has contributed towards increasing our knowledge on common skate and ensuring its conservation.

Youth and Education Award

Winner: Forest College – Lifelong Learning Outdoors

Forest College is a national centre that supports people of all ages in lifelong learning outdoors. It delivers accredited courses to develop knowledge, skills and leadership in the forest and outdoors, as well as working with local organisations to provide free outdoor education opportunities in Lord Ancrum’s Wood.

Highly commended: ReRoute – holding the key to a nature rich future

ReRoute is Scotland’s youth biodiversity panel. They’ve been working alongside Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Young Scot to involve all young people in Scotland’s amazing nature and wildlife. ReRoute has created a range of innovative and exciting ideas and solutions to encourage young people to engage with Scotland’s nature and biodiversity.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Dr Mark Young

Mark Young is a skilled communicator who has inspired and mentored generations of lepidopterists, entomologists and general naturalists. As a Lecturer at University of Aberdeen from the 1970s until 2012, he taught many people active today in conservation. Whilst his commitment to student learning was unstinting, it is his study of moths and contributions to conservation, that really set his efforts apart from others.

Although a skilled all-round naturalist, Mark is most widely known as one of the UK’s foremost microlepidopterists. Mark served on the Council of Butterfly Conservation (2006-2015) and frequently chairs their meetings of recorders. He heads up the scheme’s Scottish Verification Panel and provides guidance for vice county records across Scotland in verification of records.

Mark’s activities have had real conservation impact. He has played an active role on the Scottish Government’s Advisory Committee on SSSI’s (1998-2008) and Biodiversity Science Group (Chairman, Biodiversity Lists Sub-Committee 1996 – 2010). He sat on the North Board of SEPA (1996 – 2002) and was a Council Member of Scottish Wildlife Trust 1978-1985; 1990-1997 (Chairman, Nature Reserves Committee 1990 – 1997). Mark has also been instrumental in recognising the imminent extinction threat of the UK’s sole remaining population of New Forest Burnet moth, in Argyll.

Mark is a prolific author and has been co-editor of the microlepidoptera review, published annually, since at least the 1990s. This report collates new verified vice county records of micromoths and is the main source used for distribution maps and for a national review of the conservation statuses of micromoth species (carried out in 2012). Mark also wrote the highly acclaimed A Natural History of Moths (1997) which expertly combined a scientific evidence base with highly accessible and entertaining language. He was also joint editor of Field Guide to the Smaller Moths of Great Britain and Ireland (Langmaid et al., 2018) and has had over 200 research papers published.

Mark is an inspiration through the commitment that he shows to the study and conservation of the natural world but even more than that, his collaboration and people skills enable him to achieve so much more.

Our shortlist

NatureScot Business Award

  • Best Practice Environmental Sustainability in a Residential Centre
  • Biosphere - Good for Business!
  • Building Biodiversity Net Gain into Development Search Results
  • Marine conservation partnerships aiding research into threatened species
  • Save our Scoters (SOS)
  • ScotRail – on the right track for biodiversity

Coast and Waters Award

  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust – COAST
  • Flapper Skate Conservation
  • Hitting the Spot - Targeted Trees on Tweed
  • The Hebridean Whale Trail
  • Working together for the waters of the Dee catchment

Community Initiative Award

  • Abriachan: A Community’s Woodland
  • Barrmill Conservation Group
  • Castlemilk Park Volunteers
  • Paws on Plastic
  • Speyside Fields for Wildlife
  • Ury Riverside Park

Conservation Science Award

  • Dr Faye Jackson - Quantifying climate change impacts in rivers
  • Dr Georgios Kazanidis - Conservation of vulnerable marine ecosystems
  • Dr James Thorburn - Conservation of rays and skates
  • Dr Louise Ross - Monitoring upland vegetation change
  • Dr Róisín Campbell-Palmer - Restoring Beavers in Scotland
  • Dr Richard Whittet - Management of forests under climate change

Forest and Woodland Award

  • The Alchemy of Woods
  • Croft Woodland Project
  • Ben Lawers treeline woodland and scrub restoration project
  • Hitting the Spot - Targeted Trees on Tweed
  • Loch Trool Broadleaf Woodland Expansion
  • Return of Aberdeen's Red Squirrels

Innovation Award

  • Birding’s open secrets
  • Conserving genetic diversity – helping nature to help itself
    Inner Forth Landscape Initiative
  • NHS Greenspace – better places for people & nature
  • Scottish Wildcat Action
  • Tweed Forum – Out with the INNS

Nature and Climate Action Award

  • Borders Forest Trust- Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland
  • MacArthur Green’s Carbon Negative, Biodiversity Positive Business Model
  • Peatland ACTION – Restoring Scotland’s Peatlands
  • Saltmarsh Farming for Climate Resilience
  • Tardoes Farm peatland restoration collaboration
  • Working Wetlands, Working with Wildlife & Nature

RSPB Species Champion Award

  • Dr Jane Dodd for the Flapper skate
  • Glasgow HogWatch – Saving Scottish Hedgehogs
  • Saving freshwater pearl mussels from drought
  • The King of Fish
  • The Peesie Project

Youth and Education Award

  • East Ayrshire Learning Outdoors Support Team (LOST)
  • Forest College – Lifelong Learning Outdoors
  • GreenTweed Eco – a helping hand for Borders nature
  • Newcastleton Wildlife Watch Group
  • ReRoute – holding the key to a nature rich future
  • Tealing Primary School Pond Project