Winners announced at the Nature of Scotland Awards 2023

23 November 2023

Partnership news release

The conservation community gathered in Edinburgh to crown this year’s Scottish nature champions.

Finalists gathered at the EICC on the 22 November to enjoy a night of celebration, hosted by zoologist, TV presenter and RSPB Ambassador Megan McCubbin, and TV presenter and nature enthusiast JJ Chalmers.

The awards ceremony, now in its 12th year and co-sponsored by NatureScot, celebrated finalists across 10 categories. Winners from nine of the categories were chosen by an esteemed judging panel, made up of Susan Davies, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre Seabird, Francesca Osowska, Chief Executive at NatureScot, Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland and Sara Thiam, Chief Executive of Prosper.

Winners included “Orcadian Wildlife: 20 years of sharing Orkney’s amazing wildlife” in the Business for Nature category, a family-owned business providing wildlife tourism opportunities in Orkney. “Biosecurity for LIFE” won the Coasts and Waters category for their vital work to protect Scotland’s seabird islands from invasive mammals, and the Health and Wellbeing award went to “Whispers from the Woods & Wilds”, a Glasgow-based project designed to foster a sense of belonging and nature connection for refugees and asylum seekers through outdoor activities.

The winner of the tenth category, the Community Initiative Award, was decided by public vote. Taking home the title was “50 years of The Bailies of Bennachie”; a voluntary conservation society which protects and encourages visitors to the much-loved Aberdeenshire hill range.

Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “All our winners this year should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved.

“Another year of the Nature of Scotland Awards has brought a growing group of hardworking, motivated and passionate people into the conservation spotlight, and I’d like to wish them all a huge congratulations.

“The annual awards night is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our successes here in Scotland, but the twelve months in between is where the real magic happens. Scotland’s nature and climate is in a better position because of all your amazing efforts, thank you.”

Professor Colin Galbraith, Chair of awards co-sponsor NatureScot, said: “Now more than ever, Scotland’s nature needs champions with the ambitious ideas these award winners demonstrate.

“All of the individuals, communities, businesses and organisations nominated have inspired us this year, with their vital work to stop biodiversity loss and help us to move towards a nature-rich, net-zero future. Congratulations every one.”

Table of winners:


Highly commended


Business for Nature Award


The Alba Explorers Ltd.

Orcadian Wildlife: 20 years of sharing Orkney’s amazing wildlife.

Coasts and Waters Award

COAST – community-led marine conservation and restoration.

Come Forth for Wildlife & Fife Living Water

SMEEF – harnessing private finance for marine recovery

               Biosecurity for LIFE


Community Initiative award


50 Years of the Bailies of Bennachie

Conservation Science Award  

Coralline crisis: Informing conservation of Scotland’s maerl beds


Restoring Scotland’s mountain woodland

Putting Scottish peatlands “on the map”

Food and Farming Award  

Corncrake Calling – Fenceless grazing for Corncrakes and Crofters

Flourishing nature, nourishing people

The Southwest Scotland Regenerative Farming Network

Health and Wellbeing Award    

Roots to Learning

Whispers from the Woods & Wilds

Innovation Award   


Saving the Pine Hoverfly from extinction

Landscape Restoration Award   

Peatland ACTION – landscape-scale solutions for biodiversity and climate

Cairngorms Connect

Nature and Climate Action Award   

Falkirk’s Sustainable Greenspaces

One Million Trees Campaign

RSPB Species Champion Award   

Dr Róisín Campbell-Palmer

Roy Dennis MBE – a life conserving Ospreys