22 June 2019
A film highlighting the crucial role nature plays in farming has been revealed as the winner of a competition for young creatives.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital (SFNC) launched the Why invest in nature? competition earlier this year, seeking entries that would encourage businesses to see the benefits of the natural world.
Scotland’s natural capital is estimated to be £273 billion, according to the Scottish Government natural capital accounts published earlier this year.
The winners were unveiled by Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon at a special ceremony at the Royal Highland Show.
Ms Gougeon said: “It’s great to be here to celebrate the creative talent of our young people.
“Each of the filmmakers has done a fantastic job of capturing why investing in our natural world is so important and I hope that their work will encourage more businesses to think sustainably, both for their own future and Scotland’s nature.”
Overall winner Gregory Vaux, 26, from Dunblane, impressed the judging panel with his short film The Nature of Farming, which looked at the importance of nature to the sector through the eyes of two farmers.
Mr Vaux, a freelance filmmaker, said: “I'm delighted to have won as I hope it gives farmers a voice in shaping their future with nature.
“I loved making the film as it gave me a real insight into the farming industry and the people involved in fighting for a better future. I was really inspired by their passion to make the film as good as I could to get across the message of how nature can act in harmony with the farms and improve them.
“I hope the video highlights how in future farming needs to work alongside nature so that it can be sustainable for upcoming generations as well as helping to prevent climate change.”
SNH Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “When we launched this competition we were looking for young filmmakers who could make a powerful case to encourage businesses to see the benefits of the natural world.
“At a time when we know we must all do more to improve nature and tackle our climate emergency, these messages are more important than ever before.
“Our overall winner has done an excellent job of highlighting the importance of nature to farming businesses, and the key role they can play in driving the transformational change we need to see in the future. The film encourages all of us to aim higher and truly answers the question – why invest in nature?
“The judges were very impressed with the quality of the entries we received and it was very difficult to pick our winners so congratulations to all.”
David Wood, SFNC Deputy Chair and Senior Policy Director at ICAS, said: “The Scottish Forum on Natural Capital is pleased to support this competition. The short films have been excellent in highlighting different perspectives on nature and the natural environment, and the impacts and dependencies that business and society have on nature’s resources.”
Karen Ramoo, Policy Adviser for Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We’ve been really impressed by not only the standard of films but also the understanding that the next generation demonstrate on issues to do with nature and natural capital.
“Young people expressing their opinions on nature is crucial in influencing policymakers and industry to address the environmental issues we face today.
“The videos will form part of SNH and SFNC’s ongoing dialogue with businesses and we offer our congratulations to those who created such engaging and impactful films.”
The films were judged on how well they make the case for businesses to invest in nature, as well as creativity, innovation and attention to detail.
A cash prize of £1,000 was presented to the overall winner, with prizes of £500 for the top entry in each category.
The Why invest in nature? competition had the backing of Scottish Woodlands, Scottish Land & Estates, Baillie Gifford, Scottish Power, Robertson Construction Tayside, Speyside Wildlife, Creative Scotland and Young Scot.
The category winners were:
Food, drink and agriculture (sponsored by Scottish Land and Estates)
Winner: Gregory Vaux (The Nature of Farming)
Specially commended: Tim Cain (No More Gin)
Forestry and land management (sponsored by Scottish Woodlands)
Winner: Katie McDowall (Sipling)
Specially commended: Daisy Harris (Duchess: Protecting Our Woodlands)
Specially commended: Grant Holden (Why Invest in Nature)
Tourism (sponsored by Speyside Wildlife)
Winner: Catriona Spaven-Donn (Scotland's Nature Awaits)
Finance (sponsored by Baillie Gifford)
Winner: Joel Saunders (Rise Again)
Built environment (sponsored by Robertson Construction Tayside)
Winner: Jonathan Peters (The 21st century will be the century of timber)