Environmental Projects Acknowledged In Awards

by Alastair Hamilton -

Eleven local environmental projects demonstrating sustainability, innovation and best practice have won awards.

The successful nominees included:

- Fair Isle Bird Observatory, world famous for its research into seabird populations and habitats, which now occupies a new, energy-efficient building.

- The Garden and Ecology Trail in Sandwick (GAETS), recognised for its construction of a fish ladder to allow young trout to swim upstream.

- A nature hide at Skeld Marina, which allows local people - and visitors to the adjacent marina and camping site - to observe birds, seals and otters at close quarters.

- Nesting Primary School, where pupils transformed an overgrown area of the school grounds into a memorial peace garden to commemorate the death of a pupil.

- Olnafirth Primary School, where four pupils undertook a project to design, construct and test a model for using wave power as an energy source, working with Strathclyde University.

- Shetland RSPB Wildlife Explorers Group, which is organised mainly for under-12s and offers rock pooling, bird watching, bug hunting, bog-jumping, exploring Shetland's wild places, creating habitats and more.

- Scalloway Primary School Eco-committee, which carried out a number of environmental projects focused on waste minimisation, food and the environment and health and wellbeing.

- Shetland Islands Climate and Settlement Project (SICSP), which is a multidisciplinary, international research effort exploring relationships between climate trends and human populations.

- Shetland Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassadors, who have led on a number of projects based on helping their community become more environmentally responsible and live more sustainably.

- Michaelswood, a woodland at Aith planted by Ray, Betty and Alan Ferrie as a woodland in memory of their son and brother Michael, which is much appreciated by the local community and hosts a wealth of wildlife.

- Rick Nickerson, a stalwart of the Shetland environmental scene for more than 25 years. He has campaigned at international level on issues ranging from maritime safety and marine litter to nuclear emissions and oil pollution.

Brian Gregson, Chairman of Shetland Amenity Trust and the Shetland Environment Group which judge the awards, said: “The awards have always been truly inclusive, attracting nominations for a wide variety of projects from all sectors of the community and this year is no exception. The 11 winning projects range from small initiatives achieved on a shoestring to a project which has raised millions of pounds.”

Mr David Sigsworth, Chairman of The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and Mr James Curran, Chief Executive of SEPA, presented the winning projects with their awards. Sponsors of the awards were SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Shetland Islands Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Shetland Civic Society, VisitShetland and Shetland Amenity Trust. The awards presentation event was sponsored by the Total Laggan-Tormore Project.

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