The RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards are celebrating 10 years of recognising Scotland’s nature champions and are now open for entries. Co-sponsored by NatureScot, the awards honour individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses, and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.
The awards are free to enter, and applications are now being welcomed for 2021, which feature 10 categories. New for this year is the Health and Wellbeing Award, which recognises those who encourage us to engage with nature to support our mental and physical health. We are also welcoming back the popular Nature and Climate Action category and Food and Farming Award.
The Nature of Scotland Awards are seeking entrants for their Community Initiative category that are delivering outstanding community-based projects that benefit nature. Entries should be developed and led by the people they serve, act as an inspiration to others and offer real value to the whole community.
In 2020 “Abriachan: A Community’s Woodland”, run by the Abriachan Forest Trust near Inverness won the Community Initiative Award. In this category judges recognise community-based projects that clearly demonstrated what they have done for the benefit of nature. The Trust manages 540 hectares of forest above Loch Ness, and has used the land to create local employment, improve the environment and encourage enjoyment by the public through a network of paths, mountain bike trails and innovative outdoor learning as well as health and well-being opportunities. When we come together we can achieve amazing things, and this last year has brought that into clear focus.
Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “Over the last 10 years we’ve celebrated some truly inspiring people and projects through the Nature of Scotland Awards, and I can’t wait to read this year’s applications.
If you know a nature hero or conservation champion who’s done something amazing for Scotland, be sure to nominate them for these very special awards. You can also apply for your own project; we want to hear about the positive work you are doing for nature. This is a big year for nature in Scotland, so it’s important we celebrate your conservation successes.”
Community councils can nominate a person, project, group or business dedicated to supporting our environment or submit your own application and tell us what you’re doing to support species and habitats!
Hopefully Scottish Government guidance will allow everyone who applies to attend an extra special reception at the Scottish Parliament in early September where the Nature of Scotland Awards shortlist will be unveiled. The winners will then be announced at a celebratory Awards Ceremony at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on the 17 November with successfully shortlisted entrants receiving two complimentary tickets to this prestigious event.
Find out more about the awards and submit your application by 14 June 2021 by visiting rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland.