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Wildcat project wins Nature of Scotland Innovation Award

Nature of Scotland Innovation Award presentation
The project impressed the judges with its work to bring land managers and conservationists together.

The Cairngorms Wildcat project has won the Nature of Scotland Innovation Award, sponsored by the James Hutton Institute, for its efforts to protect the iconic Scottish wildcat. The project impressed the judges with its work to bring land managers and conservationists together to gather vital information to better understand the species and raise awareness of its plight.

The award was presented by Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, Professor Iain Gordon, at the second annual RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards ceremony held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh on 30 October.

The Cairngorms Wildcat project aims to protect the future of Scotland’s wildcats by:

  • raising awareness of the plight of the Scottish wildcat
  • encouraging responsible domestic cat ownership (i.e. increased neutering and vaccination) in the Cairngorms National Park
  • supporting the work of cat welfare organisations which neuter feral cats around towns, villages and farms
  • working with land managers to ensure that predator control is wildcat-friendly
  • monitoring the wildcat population and the extent of both hybridisation and disease with the input of land managers and the public.

The Cairngorms Wildcat project is a partnership of organisations including the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Scottish Gamekeepers Association and Scottish Natural Heritage, supported by a wider circle of organisations.

The Scottish Beaver Trial was highly commended in the Innovation category.

The Nature of Scotland Awards recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in nature conservation. The awards are also an opportunity for industry professionals, public sector organisations, community groups, politicians, charities and conservationists to share their interest in preserving the precious natural heritage of Scotland.

There were eight award categories, two more than in 2012 and the winners were:

  • Innovation Award: Cairngorms Wildcat Project
  • Marine Award: Nick Riddiford, Fair Isle Marine Environment and Tourism Initiative
  • Sustainable Development Award: EAE’s Biodiversity Garden
  • Politician of the year: Rob Gibson MSP
  • Outstanding Contribution to Nature Conservation: Alan Watson Featherstone, founder of the Trees for Life charity, restoring the Caledonian Forest
  • RSPB Species Champion Award: Clive Craik, Saving West of Scotland Common Terns and The South Shian Tern Rafts
  • Community Initiative Award: The Ecology Centre, KinghornYouth and Education Award: Larbert High School.

Finally, there was a special category for Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to Professor Aubrey Manning OBE in appreciation of his life’s work to the understanding of wildlife and conservation.

There were more than 70 entries to this year's awards and the shortlist was announced in June.

For more information read the Nature of Scotland Awards news release on the RSPB Scotland website.

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/wildcat-project-wins-nature-scotland-innovation-award on 07/12/21 08:41:49 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.