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A PROJECT based on the Isle of Mull has scooped a top prize at the RSPB’s Nature of Scotland Awards, which was hosted by BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham in Edinburgh last week.
Mull Eagle Watch, which collected the Nature Tourism Award, sponsored by Sustrans Scotland, offers ranger-led visits on the island to view iconic white-tailed eagles at their nest. This year, for the first time, the partnership project is being led by community woodland groups.
The Nature of Scotland Awards are held annually and are organised by RSPB Scotland to reward the most impressive people and projects working to conserve wildlife across the country.
Moray Finch, general manager of the Mull and Iona Community Trust, one of the groups running Mull Eagle Watch, said: ‘Mull Eagle Watch and our community woodland partners are delighted and honoured to have won a 2016 Nature of Scotland Award. It is a real privilege to be part of this world-leading conservation tourism project. My congratulations to everyone involved – including the eagles.’
Chris Packham said: ‘I am delighted to have been able to host the RSPB’s Nature of Scotland Awards for a second year. It was an honour to meet all of the worthy winners and learn more about the people driving some of the most important species and habitat work across the country. The passion, dedication and enthusiasm they have for conservation is inspiring and these awards provide the perfect platform for all of their efforts to be recognised on a national scale.’
Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: ‘Congratulations to everyone who has taken home a Nature of Scotland Award this year – they were all well and truly deserved. It was a privilege to be able to showcase and thank those working hardest to protect the vulnerable wildlife and inspiring wild places we have here in Scotland.
‘The role of volunteers improving their local areas, helping young people learn about the natural world, or monitoring declining species stands out, and it is uplifting to see what has been achieved. We need to offer more people the support and encouragement to take action to protect nature, and ensure our children grow up in a world richer in wildlife.
‘I am confident that many of the individuals I met at the event last night will really inspire others to take on that challenge, so even more people across Scotland give nature a home.’
For more information about RSPB Scotland’s Nature of Scotland Awards, go to: www.rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland