Big or small, let's celebrate rural Scotland

Donald Inch ,
11 Jun 2019

Do you know a farm, rural business or estate who are doing things a little different, taking a new approach and helping their local community thrive? 

Has a local estate, farm or rural business near you made a positive contribution to your area, perhaps providing affordable, warm housing?

Is there an innovative, diverse or even quirky rural business near you which is providing jobs and tourism in your community?

Our Helping It Happen Awards are back for 2019, and we want to hear your stories about the people who are helping rural Scotland thrive.

We know that across Scotland the rural sector is thriving with passionate, innovative forward-looking rural businesses who are providing economic, social and environmental benefits to the countryside. Their contribution to the Scottish economy and the benefits they provide to local communities are obvious, and we think they deserve to be recognised.

Over the past two years we’ve heard an incredible number of inspirational stories of the people throughout rural Scotland who are going the extra mile and keeping our rural communities strong. 

In 2017 we heard about the East Neuk Estates and their brilliant conservation work to save the corn bunting, one of the fastest declining birds in England and Scotland. Through a series of measures, they have provided the ‘big three’ – safe nesting places, insect-rich summer foraging habitats and winter seed food. The project is a collaboration between farmers, land managers, the East Neuk Estates and RSPB. 

In our inaugural year we also recognised the work by Moray Estates to bring Tornagrain to life, a new town between Inverness and Nairn which will eventually be home to more than 10,000 people.

And then just last year we heard about the journey Graham Birchen and his family have been on at Orkney Ice Cream, diversifying the small family business from pigs to beef to dairy and then to a processing dairy, branching into ice cream in 1995 where they really made their mark.

We’re looking for nominations across 9 diverse categories:

  • Tourism Award
  • Rural Business Award
  • Rural Housing Award
  • Conservation Award
  • Education Award
  • Iver Salvesen Green Business Award
  • The MacRobert Trust Award for Working with Communities
  • Innovation in Farming Award
  • Enhancing the Environment Award

The deadline for submitting your nomination is Monday 8 July at midnight, so make sure you don’t miss this opportunity and get your nomination in soon!

The winners will be presented with their awards at a Black-Tie Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh on Wednesday 2 October 2019, kindly sponsored by The MacRobert Trust