Conservation heroes make award shortlist

Aberdeenshire farmer John Moir was recognised for his efforts to help corn-buntings
Aberdeenshire farmer John Moir was recognised for his efforts to help corn-buntings

Wildcats, wildlife gardens and sustainable fishing were just some of the finalists in RSPB Scotland’s Nature of Scotland Awards at the Scottish Parliament on June 18th.

Four projects from the North-east made the cut including: Aberdeenshire farmer John Moir for his efforts to help corn-buntings; Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s Shorewatch programme on Spey Bay; a project to transform Mill Farm Quarry into a wildlife sanctuary and the Gramps Project in Aberdeen, a partnership initiative which works with local schools and communities to reduce the risk of deliberately set fires.

Scotland is internationally renowned for its stunning wildlife and wildlife places, the Awards aim to recognise national projects and local heroes, working hard to protect and enhance the nation’s natural heritage.

This year the awards programme has unearthed remarkable projects from the length and breadth of the country.

The finalists were announced at an event hosted by Claire Baker MSP and sponsored by the Crown Estate.

Winners across the eight categories will be announced at a special award ceremony at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh on October 30.

Stuart Housden, head judge and Director of RSPB Scotland, said: “We had high hopes that the 2013 Year of Natural Scotland would allow us to recognise and reward some truly inspirational projects, and we were not disappointed.

“Once again we were overwhelmed by the volume and calibre of entries. We applaud all our entrants for their commitment and efforts to conserve and protect species and habitats throughout Scotland.

“My fellow judges and I are very much looking forward to meeting all the shortlisted nominees at the award ceremony later this year.”

Gareth Baird, Scottish Commissioner, said: “Recognising and celebrating the dedication, excellence and innovation of those working and volunteering for conservation is essential in ensuring Scotland’s outstanding natural assets are protected - now and in the future.”

For further information about the Nature of Scotland Awards please visit: http://www.rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland.