The conservation charity organises the event each year to find and celebrate the most passionate and dedicated people working to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment.
RSPB Scotland is seeking entries from individuals, businesses, community groups, schools, volunteers, the farming community and other organisations with a strong commitment to nature and wildlife. The nine categories available for entry in 2017 are: RSPB Species Champion Award (sponsored by The Ardmore); Marine Conservation Award (sponsored by Vattenfall); Corporate Award; Political Advocate of the Year Award; Food and Farming Award (sponsored by the James Hutton Institute); Innovation Award; Youth and Education Award; Community Initiative Award (sponsored by GreenPower) and Nature Tourism Award (sponsored by Sustrans Scotland).
Since the launch of the awards six years ago, almost 50 projects, individuals and organisations have been recognised with a Nature of Scotland Award with initiatives focusing on, for example, protecting red squirrels, building community gardens and developing renewable energy.
Bill Bailey said: “I love nature and being in the outdoors and Scotland’s the perfect place to enjoy both.
“It’s a country of beautiful wild places and abundant wildlife but there are growing challenges which put these under real threat. I have a keen interest in conservation so I’m delighted that the Nature of Scotland Awards will recognise and celebrate nature’s heroes.
“Their dedication and hard work is crucial in the battle to protect and preserve Scotland’s precious natural heritage for future generations. Their projects help to make nature more accessible and make a real difference by giving nature a home.”
Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be launching our sixth Nature of Scotland Awards to discover and celebrate the people working to give nature a home and conserve the country’s precious wildlife for future generations.
“Each year I am inspired and humbled by the amazing ingenuity and vision people invest in to protect our natural heritage. When so many wildlife indicators are turning negative, it is refreshing to highlight those who are making such a huge difference in their communities and for nature. If you or someone you know is doing good work for the environment and for wildlife conservation in Scotland then I strongly encourage you to submit an entry to the Nature of Scotland Awards – let’s celebrate your achievements together.”
A reception will be held at the Scottish Parliament in September to announce the shortlist for 2017 and the winners will be revealed at the Nature of Scotland Award ceremony in November.
The closing date for entries is Monday, June 12 and applications can be submitted at www.rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland