TV presenter Kate Humble is hosting the Nature of Scotland Awards.
RSPB Scotland has announced that Kate, also a writer and naturalist as well as a former Springwatch presenter, will be this year’s host for awards, being held in association with Scottish Natural Heritage.
The renowned awards, which open for entries today, celebrate the people, projects and organisations across Scotland dedicated to conserving our outstanding natural heritage.
Kate said: ‘With a true passion for nature, I love nothing more than being in the outdoors and exploring the British countryside. Scotland offers a wealth of diverse and wonderful wild places to explore but these are unfortunately under real threat in the modern world we live in.
‘With this in mind, I’m thrilled to be hosting the 2018 Nature of Scotland Awards where I will have the opportunity to meet and thank the conservation heroes doing so much to protect Scotland’s precious natural heritage.
‘The dedication and hard work of individuals is crucial in the battle to protect and preserve Scotland’s natural environment for generations to come and I’m looking forward to learning more about the people and projects offering nature a home.’
Now in their seventh year the awards span nine categories including a special new award for this year in celebration of the Year of Young People 2018, the RSPB Young Nature Champion Award. This new award will recognise the achievements of young people, aged eight to 26 years old, making a positive impact on nature in Scotland.
Kate will be joined as host by BBC TV and radio presenter, and wildlife expert Euan McIlwraith when the winners are unveiled at a black tie dinner on Thursday, 22 November, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.
Since the event started in 2011, almost 50 projects, individuals and organisations have been recognised with a Nature of Scotland Award for their dedication to protecting the natural world. Last year’s winners included a project to tackle plastic pollution in oceans, pioneering work to benefit birds of prey, and Scotland’s first ever snorkel trail.
This year’s awards are open for entries until Monday, 11 June, with the shortlist to be revealed in September at a Scottish Parliament reception.
Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, is encouraging everyone involved in helping Scotland’s wildlife and habitats to put themselves forward for an award: ‘I’m always inspired by the people, projects and organisations working hard to protect Scotland’s precious natural heritage and the awards provide the ideal platform to celebrate their achievements.
‘Help us make this year the biggest and best yet by submitting an application or nominating your conservation heroes.’
Scottish Natural Heritage is the headline sponsor for this year’s awards. The awards are also sponsored by GreenPower, The James Hutton Institute, ScottishPower, The Ardmore, and Turcan Connell.
The nine award categories for 2018 are:
· Business Award (formerly the Corporate Award). This award will recognise and celebrate businesses, large and small, that can clearly demonstrate what they have done for the benefit of nature in Scotland.
· Community Initiative Award. This award will go to an outstanding community-based initiative that clearly demonstrates what they have done for the benefit of nature.
· Food and Farming Award. From wildlife-friendly farmers to cafés and caterers reducing their environmental footprint, this award celebrates our sustainable food champions.
· Innovation Award. Awarded to the most innovative project, initiative, practice, or technique (management or otherwise) that has aided nature conservation.
· Nature Tourism Award. This award will go to a nature-based tourism organisation or initiative that stands above its peers for its contribution to conservation.
· Political Advocate of the Year Award. This award will celebrate a politician, campaigner or individual who goes above and beyond to ensure our natural heritage is not only protected but enhanced for future generations.
· RSPB Young Nature Champion Award – new for 2018. In recognition of the Year of Young People 2018, this award celebrates the achievements of young people (aged eight to 26) making a positive impact on nature in Scotland.
· Sustainable Development Award. This award will go to a winner who shows how research, initiative, planning or development has had a positive effect on nature conservation linked to Scotland, and will also celebrate new developments being delivered in a sustainable way.
· Youth and Education Award. This award honours schools and youth groups which can demonstrate how they have made a real difference to the conservation and sustainability of Scotland’s wildlife and habitats.