Meet the Helping It Happen finalists: Conservation Award
Our Helping It Happen Awards highlight how landowners and rural businesses across Scotland play a key role in enabling and supporting success in rural areas. We tell the story of exactly how estates and rural businesses are involved in projects large and small across Scotland, and hopefully encourage more activity of this kind.
Our 2019 Awards Ceremony and Dinner is coming up quickly – you can book your tickets on our website - and here on our blog we are taking a closer look at each of our finalists. Today it’s the turn of the Conservation Award which recognises best practice in conservation work across Scotland. The Conservation Award is kindly sponsored by Anderson Strathern.
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels
The red squirrel is one of Scotland’s most loved animals and Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels was established to ensure that they continue to be a part of Scotland’s special native wildlife. Collaborative working is key, and the project brings together several of Scotland’s biggest private and public landowning and conservation bodies to work together to protect Scotland’s red squirrels. The most recent phase of the project has focused on engaging with local communities and individuals, inspiring and supporting them to take action to protect red squirrels where they live. More than 500 volunteers are currently engaged in the conservation work and a record breaking 8400 sightings were submitted last year.
By recording the flora and fauna found around the farm, Whitmuir Estate in the Scottish Borders can track exactly where they are making a different to their local environment. With the help of volunteers, local school children, organisations and experts they have recorded over 1,443 species found on the 176 ha farm. This includes 93 bird species, 659 fungi, 172 flowering plants and 250 moths. This fantastic work has shown that combining volunteers from the community, with European funding and farmer input can really achieve for nature.
With growing pressures on fisheries management in Scotland, the Tweed Foundation is leading the way with their innovative approach to understanding fish survival by monitoring a whole salmon population in the Gala Water, a tributary to the River Tweed. Knowing how many young fish are produced and how many are getting back to their home spawning areas as mature adults to keep their populations going are fundamental questions for fisheries management. Salmon smolts have started to be tagged, both acoustically and with a PIT tag which works in a similar way to a barcode reader, so their progress downriver and when they return can be understood.
Don’t forget to book your tickets and join us at our Helping It Happen Awards Ceremony to find out who takes home the trophy in the Enhancing our Environment category. Book your tickets.