Let’s recognise all the great Scots standing up for nature - Seonaid Mason

Scotland’s nature is incredible. Ancient Celtic rainforest rich in rare lichens and wildlife; vibrant machair grasslands humming with rare types of bumblebee; sub-arctic alpine plateau in the Cairngorms overlooking 600 square kilometres of wild land and over 5,000 species including capercaillie, golden eagles and wildcats; the largest blanket bog in Europe storing almost 400 million tonnes of carbon; and internationally important populations of some extraordinary endangered species.

Seonaid Mason, Senior Development Officer, RSPB Scotland
Seonaid Mason, Senior Development Officer, RSPB Scotland

Unfortunately, as beautiful and diverse as our nature is, it is also incredibly fragile. We are at a pivotal moment in history with the nature and climate emergency causing a damaging imbalance for the environment. Our wild habitats not only provide a home for some amazing species, they also have enormous potential for locking in carbon from the atmosphere and providing a solution to some of the issues caused by climate change. It has never been more vital to protect our nature.

Together, we can achieve this. Businesses, communities, individuals, and partnerships are standing up for Scotland’s nature and ensuring it has space to thrive and grow. The Nature of Scotland Awards celebrate these efforts every year, highlighting the remarkable determination and energy that goes into protecting Scotland’s wildlife and habitats. Organised by RSPB Scotland and co-sponsored by NatureScot, the awards recognise the very best in Scottish nature conservation.

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Environmental, social and governance criteria are becoming of increasing importance to companies, with investors, clients and customers seeing that ethical impact and sustainability of the business go hand in hand. The refreshed Business for Nature Award recognises that businesses do have a critical role to play in fighting the nature and climate emergency, and celebrates businesses which grasp the opportunity with both hands. We want to hear from businesses in all sectors and of all sizes, from small businesses using their knowledge of local wildlife to the sector leaders making real changes for nature.

2021’s Awards saw Scotia Seeds taking the trophy for the Business Award, after being shortlisted from amongst some truly incredible entries. Believing in biodiversity from the roots up, Scotia Seeds are pioneering producers of wildflower seeds which have been used to create spaces for nature all over Scotland and beyond. Supporting wild animal and plant communities has been at the core of their business from the very beginning.

Fiona Guest, co-owner and director of Scotia Seeds said on receipt of the Award, “For over two decades Scotia Seeds has continued to grow as a successful, sustainable rural business with biodiversity at its heart. Recognition of a small but mighty, conservation led business like Scotia Seeds by champions of the natural world like RSPB Scotland and NatureScot is a huge honour.”

At nearly 25 years old, Scotia Seeds is a small but mighty sustainable business from both an environmental and commercial perspective, showing that environmental sustainability and commercial growth complement each other to form a successful and prodigious business model.

Entries for 2022 are now open. If you know an individual, community group, business or organisation who have made a positive difference to Scotland’s nature, visit rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland to tell us about it and find out how you can apply, or follow our Twitter page @NatureofScot.

Seonaid Mason, Senior Development Officer, RSPB Scotland

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