Visitors enjoying a day out at the mountain trail, Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, April 2015. ©Lorne Gill/SNH

In Tune with Nature

Inviting musicians of all genres to compose new music as part of a high-profile national composition and songwriting project called 'In Tune with Nature'.

What is the competition?

To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, artists aged 16+ are invited to write new music inspired by one of ten National Nature Reserves (NNRs) across the country.

What do I win?

The entries will be judged by a panel of well-known and highly regarded musicians and industry professionals, including Julie Fowlis, Vic Galloway, Gill Maxwell and Karine Polwart, and chaired by Fiona Dalgetty. The 10 winning artists will each win a £500 cash prize as well as the opportunity to make a film on the NNR site which inspired their music. The winning artists will be paid for their time on site making the film. There will also be the opportunity to take part in live performances throughout the year.

The NNRs include;

The new work should reflect the special qualities of the National Nature Reserves, all those selected having strong coastal or freshwater elements. New Gaelic songs are particularly encouraged in the Beinn Eighe and Creag Meagaidh areas and, similarly, songs written in Scots and regional dialects would be warmly received in other areas. Artists should aim to communicate the richness of Scotland’s nature and, through this, encourage new audiences to consider the actions they may take to protect it.


  • 1st March 2020 - Competition is launched
  • 31st May 2020 - Closing date for entries
  • 26th June 2020 - Winners announced
  • July - August 2020 - Winning composers/songwriters create films on location at NNRs

How do I apply?

Entrants should submit the following by the 31st May deadline:

  • a link to Soundcloud or an MP3 recording of their original new music
  • a PDF of the sheet music
  • if a song, a copy of the lyrics
  • a 50-word biography
  • a summary (maximum 200 words) of how they were inspired by their chosen particular NNR to create this new music.

Please email submissions to Fèis Rois Chief Executive, Fiona Dalgetty.

What are the terms and conditions?

  • Musicians of any age from 16 upwards are welcome to enter this competition.
  • Entries can be songs or instrumental music, but no piece should be longer than five minutes.
  • Musicians can only submit one entry per NNR. You may find that you are inspired by more than one place and you are welcome to submit another entry for a different site.
  • Employees of SNH, Fèis Rois and their families are excluded from entering.
  • The closing date is midnight on Sunday 31st May 2020. No entries will be accepted after this time.

All entrants retain full copyright/ownership of their music but agree to SNH having full and free use of it in SNH promotional materials, including online.

In Tune with Nature - Inspiration from National Nature Reserves.


In Tune with Nature, our musical composition competition is looking for entries inspired by the 10 Scottish National Nature Reserves featured in this short video.