The search to find Scotland’s nature conservation heroes has begun with entries now open for RSPB Scotland’s Nature of Scotland Awards 2016.
Now in their fifth year, these prestigious awards champion the innovative projects and dedicated people across the country who go the extra mile in conserving and protecting Scotland’s wonderful wildlife and natural environment.
RSPB Scotland is inviting entries from businesses, individuals, schools, and other organisations which demonstrate an outstanding commitment to helping Scotland’s wildlife and use innovative approaches to enhance the country’s natural heritage.
Since the launch of the awards in 2012 over 40 winners have been recognised for their role in conserving Scotland’s wildlife and habitats, including Scottish wildcats, red squirrels, native woodland, peatlands, and research that benefits the wise use of natural resources.
This year the expert judging panel will assess entries across eight categories including two new awards for 2016; the Food and Farming Award and the Corporate Award. The Food and Farming Award will go to the entry that stands out for its contribution to nature conservation through sustainable farming and food production. The Corporate Award winner will be the entry that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to nature and natural capital as part of its business model.
The best in Scottish nature tourism will also be recognised in the awards in the Nature Tourism category, whilst those going above and beyond to help a species in Scotland, whether mammal, bird, insect or plant, will be celebrated in the RSPB Species Champion Award. The other categories for entry are the Community Initiative Award, the Innovation Award, the Politician of the Year Award, and the Youth and Education Award.
Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “We’re delighted to launch our fifth search for the leading lights in Scottish conservation. Each year I’m incredibly impressed by the range and high quality of entries we receive for the Nature of Scotland Awards. Across the country there are some truly inspiring people and projects working to give nature a home and conserve our outstanding natural environment.
“We’re inviting entries from individuals, businesses, community groups, schools, volunteers, public sector initiatives, conservation organisations and their members, the farming community, and beyond, and I very much look forward to finding out more about the amazing work being done in aid of wildlife and the special places which make our country so rich.”
The shortlist for the awards will be announced at reception in August, and the winners will be unveiled at a black tie dinner on 24th November 2016 at the Prestonfield Hotel in Edinburgh, hosted by TV nature presenter Chris Packham.
Chris Packham said: “More and more businesses right across Scotland are realising that our wildlife, landscape and scenery are invaluable assets that give them a critical competitive advantage. Investing in our special wildlife and places makes good sense.
“I am thrilled that the Nature of Scotland Awards bring together such a wide community of people who are proud to say “we are giving nature a home in Scotland”, and we look forward to duly recognising and celebrating their important achievements.”
The closing date for entries is Monday 13th June. To find out more and submit an entry please visit the Nature of Scotland Awards 2016 website.
All images ©Lorne Gill/SNH
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