Nature superstars get cyber celebration

26 November 2020

The Nature of Scotland Awards, led by RSPB Scotland and co-sponsored by NatureScot, announced its winners last night in a special online awards ceremony.

The prestigious conservation awards are now in their ninth year, and took to live-streaming, rather than the usual black-tie event for their 2020 celebration.

The Awards highlight the very best in Scottish conservation, celebrating people, projects and communities making a difference for nature across the country.

The events ceremony was hosted virtually by Make it Edinburgh Live on 25 November. Finalists from the nine Awards categories, plus their supporters, sponsors, and the wider public were invited to join from their own homes.

Two new categories this year; Forest and Woodland and Nature and Climate Action Awards, saw wins for the Tweed Forum partnership of over 250 land managers and communities, planting over 1 million native broadleaved trees, and Aberdeen City Council who are leading the way in managing surface water to support climate change actions and enhance biodiversity.

Other Awards went to Forest College, a national centre that supports people of all ages in lifelong learning outdoors, for the Youth and Education category. This project 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. The Coasts and Waters Award went to The Hebridean Whale Trail, a project which brings together over 30 of the most beautiful corners of Scotland’s west coast, where whales, dolphins and wondrous creatures roam.

The NatureScot Business Award was won by ‘Biosphere - Good for Business!’, a network of local businesses in Galloway and Southern Ayrshire who work sustainably, supporting their local environment, their local communities and each other. The UNESCO Biosphere designation is the only global recognition for an area demonstrating excellence in sustainable development, and was award to this project in 2012.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr Mark Young in recognition of his considerable contribution to nature conservation, particularly in relation to insects and moths. He has inspired generations of conservationists through his academic work, made countless scientific discoveries and championed the natural world in the North East and across Scotland.

Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland and Chair of the Judging Panel said:

“With everything that has happened this year, the Nature of Scotland Awards have helped demonstrate just how important it is for us to maintain and nurture our connection with the natural world. I am delighted we have this opportunity to celebrate those people across Scotland who care for our environment for our wellbeing, our businesses and our communities. Our winners should be immensely proud of their achievements and it was fabulous to be able to celebrate with so many people this year!”

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “The Nature of Scotland Awards are a great reminder of how nature can bring communities together, and the amazing work that can be achieved by passionate people. Last night was a wonderful celebration of conservation across Scotland, and it was brilliant to have such a variety of projects, all at different scales, and all doing amazing work across the country. Congratulations to all the finalists and particularly to the winners, and thank you for everything you are doing for Scotland’s nature!”