MANY supporters cheered on Newcastleton wildlife watch club at the online RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards 2020 last Wednesday.
The club, run by Wendy Patterson, was nominated by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and made it onto the shortlist for the youth and education category.
The Newcastleton group arranges a variety of fun activities and events for children from P3 to P7 from nature trails to scavenger hunts, arts and crafts to fungal forays, all getting the kids closer to wildlife in their area.
The special online ceremony was hosted by naturalist and TV presenter Steve Backshall and sponsored by NatureScot.
The awards highlight the very best in Scottish conservation, celebrating people, projects and communities making a difference for nature.
Finalists from the nine categories, plus their supporters, sponsors and the public were invited to join from their own homes.
The Tweed Forum won one of two new categories this year.
The forest and woodland award recognised the partnership’s 250 land managers and communities, planting more than one million native broadleaved trees.
The winner of the youth and education category was Forest College.
This is a national centre which supports people of all ages in lifelong learning outdoors.
This project delivers accredited courses to develop knowledge, skills and leadership in the forest and outdoors and works with organisations to provide free outdoor education opportunities.
The NatureScot Business Award was won by ‘Biosphere – Good for Business!’, a network of local businesses in Galloway and Southern Ayrshire who work sustainably, supporting their local environment, their local communities and each other. The UNESCO Biosphere designation is the only global recognition for an area demonstrating excellence in sustainable development, and was award to this project in 2012.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mark Young in recognition of his considerable contribution to nature conservation, particularly in relation to insects and moths. He has inspired generations of conservationists through his academic work, made countless scientific discoveries and championed the natural world in the North East and across Scotland.
Anne McCall, RSPB Scotland director and the judging panel chairwoman, said: “With everything which has happened this year, the awards have helped show how important it is for us to maintain and nurture our connection with the natural world.
“I’m delighted we have this opportunity to celebrate those people who care for our environment, well-being, businesses and communities.
“Our winners should be immensely proud of their achievements and it was fabulous to be able to celebrate with so many people this year.”