Judges revealed for Scottish Rural Awards 2020

Flora Shedden

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Bake Off star Flora Shedden and previous winner Sir Ian Grant will be joining the Scottish Rural Awards judging panel for 2020.

The Scottish Rural Awards celebrate the enterprise, innovation and community spirit of those who live and work in Scotland’s countryside and close for nominations on Monday, November 11. The Judges will convene for the Judging Day on January 27 in Edinburgh and the awards will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at the Glasgow Hilton on April 2nd 2020.

Flora Shedden, the youngest semi-finalist in The Great British Bake Off, who now runs ARAN Bakery in Dunkeld, will bring her knowledge of the Scottish food industry to the judging panel while Sir Ian Grant brings his widely respected knowledge of rural Scotland to the panel. The Scottish Rural Awards are delighted to welcome these well-loved rural heroes to the awards.

The judges for the Scottish Rural Awards 2020 will be:

Flora Shedden

Flora Shedden has been in the kitchen all her life. When she was 10 she began making her own birthday cakes (and everyone else’s for that matter) and at 12 she took full creative control over Christmas. As well as running ARAN Bakery, she presents a variety of food programmes on BBC Radio Scotland and until recently wrote a weekly baking column for the Sunday Telegraph.

Sir Ian Grant

Sir Ian Grant CBE DL FRAgS has farmed arable, beef and sheep in Perthshire for 30 years. He is a past President of NFU Scotland, which resulted in engagement in agricultural and rural policy development in the UK, Europe and internationally. Subsequent appointments outside agriculture include Chairmanship of Scottish Tourist Board, Crown Estate, and SECC, and Deputy Chairman of Scottish & Southern Energy, and NFU Mutual. Sir Ian Grant was also winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Rural Awards 2019.

Richard Bath

The editor of Scottish Field for the past nine years and formerly Scotland on Sunday’s restaurant reviewer for more than a decade, Richard has a strong working knowledge of the rural economy, particularly its hospitality sector. A former judge of Taste of Grampian and The Thistle Awards, he is widely travelled throughout Scotland and is a keen country sportsman.

Jamie Stewart

Countryside Alliance Director for Scotland, Jamie has worked within the wildlife and land management sector for over 20 years. Developing and delivering significant projects under the Rural Development Programme both in Scotland and England, Jamie brings a broad knowledge on issues and challenges affecting rural enterprise.

Alan Laidlaw

Alan Laidlaw is Chief Executive of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) – a registered charity with a remit to promote and protect the interests of rural Scotland. Based at the RHASS’s headquarters at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Alan was appointed to the role in August 2016 after spending 11 years with the Crown Estate Scotland, latterly as Head of Property. He is a trained chartered surveyor, a director of the Oxford Farming Conference and an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies (ARAgS).

Charlie Shentall

A hospitality consultant and Director of The Lodge at Perth Racecourse, Charlie was Project Manager for Routes to Rural Employment, and now sits on the Board of Management at The University of the Highlands and Islands at Perth College.

It couldn’t be easier to enter the awards.

There’s only a few days left to enter the awards. Businesses and individuals can nominate themselves or a friend on our website. It only takes five minutes to fill in our online form to register your nomination. Enter at www.scottishruralawards.org

The full criteria for each award, along with nomination forms, are available on the Scottish Rural Awards website, www.scottishruralwards.org. It is free to enter a nomination.

As an added bonus, every nominee will receive a free copy of Scottish Field magazine and will enter a prize draw to win one of five bottles of Arran 10 Year Old whisky.

Richard Bath, editor of Scottish Field, said: ‘The Scottish Rural Awards go to the heart of Scottish Field’s commitment to showcase the best that Scotland’s countryside has to offer. That is why it has been an enormous pleasure to be a part of an awards that has grown in stature with every passing year.’

‘Our involvement with the SRA has also been an educational process: judging the awards each year has revealed the extraordinary levels of innovation and energy of the people who live in rural Scotland. In turn, the awards have given those dynamic custodians of Scotland’s rural economy the public recognition which they so richly deserve.’

Finalists will be announced at the beginning of December 2019, with winners revealed at the Scottish Rural Awards ceremony and gala dinner, which will take place in spring 2020.