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Sowing the seeds for success in Strathspey


By Gavin Musgrove

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A Nethy Bridge based charity which works with local landowners to establish flower meadows for bees and other pollinators is buzzing about being shortlisted for a prestigious nature award.

The charity has encouraged visitors to flock in over the winter to Strathspey. Photos: Speyside Fields for Wildlife
The charity has encouraged visitors to flock in over the winter to Strathspey. Photos: Speyside Fields for Wildlife

The recently formed Speyside Fields for Wildlife also helps to promote winter seed crops for birds and other wildlife visiting the local area.

The group is one of 50 finalists for this year’s Nature of Scotland Awards announced yesterday, and all making a difference for the country’s flora and fauna.

Members of the local community are involved as supporters and volunteers for the Nethy charity which works closely with the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Desmond Dugan, leader of Speyside Fields for Wildlife, said: “It is an honour to be shortlisted for the Nature of Scotland Community Award. Our small organisation looks forward to many more years of working with out local farmers and providing opportunities for our community to become involved at grassroots level.”

The awards, now in their ninth year, usually host a shortlisting event at the Scottish Parliament. But this time organisers turned to Twitter and Facebook due to Covid-19 to announce the individuals and projects making the cut.

The awards celebrate nature heroes, championing people, projects and community groups going above and beyond to protect Scottish wildlife.

There are nine awards this year, including two new categories for 2020: Forest and Woodland Award, and Nature and Climate Action Award. Shortlisted projects in these categories include the return of Aberdeen’s red squirrels, and a carbon negative business model.

Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland and chair of the judging panel, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to every nomination and massive congratulations to those who have been shortlisted.

"This has been a uniquely challenging year for many and never has it felt more important to understand our interdependency with the natural world.

"I wish everyone the best of luck and look forward to the online awards ceremony which will offer an opportunity for more of us than ever before to join in the celebrations.”

The event’s ceremony will be staged virtually by Make it Edinburgh Live on November 25.

The other finalists from the Highlands are:

Highland

* Abriachan: A Community’s Woodland (Community Initiative Award);

* Saving freshwater pearl mussels from drought (RSPB Species Champion Award); and

* Save our Scoters (SOS) (NatureScot Business Award).

More about Speyside Fields for Wildlife's work can be found at https://www.speysidefieldsforwildlife.org/what-we-do

For more information on the Nature of Scotland Awards including go to: rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland



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