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Helping It Happen 2017 National Awards Winners


Estates, farms and land-based businesses that have helped their local region to flourish have been recognised at the first-ever Helping it Happen awards ceremony.

Organised by Scottish Land & Estates and sponsored by The MacRobert Trust, winners were announced across seven diverse categories from housing to tourism, education to conservation.

The Helping it Happen initiative was launched by Scottish Land & Estates in late 2014 to highlight how landowners on estates and farms across Scotland can play a key role in delivering benefit and enabling success in rural Scotland. More than 200 case studies have been compiled, culminating in the inaugural awards held in Edinburgh.

The event was hosted by former Scotland and British & Irish Lions rugby internationalist, Doddie Weir, and attendees at the dinner also played their part by raising money for charity partners RSABI and Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance.

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: "People who have the interests of rural Scotland at heart know that the best way to achieve vibrant and successful communities is to work together towards common goals.

"Landowners and estates are often stereotyped as detached and remote from communities and it is important that we continue to change that perception and show what has and can be achieved.

"Helping it Happen demonstrates much of the unsung work that estates, farms and other land based businesses undertake, and there could have been many more winners than those announced at the ceremony. My congratulations go to all those who play their part in Helping it Happen in their region."

Simon Power, estate manager for the MacRobert Trust and one of the judging panel for the awards, said it was a difficult process to choose the winners.

Simon Power said: "It was an extremely challenging process to choose the winners in each award category given the wonderful work that is undertaken by estates across Scotland. The MacRobert Trust is delighted to support the awards and promote, through Scottish Land & Estates, the role estates play in their communities: from protecting and enhancing the biodiversity and landscape under their management to helping young people to the welcome estates provide to visitors to their areas.

"This has been the first year of the Helping it Happen awards but I’m certain it will go from strength to strength due to the outstanding stories that estates are generating on a daily basis."

The winners in each category were as follows:-

Rural Housing Award

Sponsored by Clarendon

Moray Estates

First residents move into Tornagrain, a new town between Inverness and Nairn which is being realised through the vision of Moray Estates. It will eventually be home to more than 10,000 people.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates
Patricia Watson, Clarendon Planning & Development (Sponsor)
Nicole Petrie, Moray Estates (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Tourism Award

Sponsored by Gift of Grouse


Recognising the transformed estate, which now employs 10 people in rural Perthshire. The estate has built two houses, completed a barn conversion, extended the main house and refurbished three holiday cottages. Their changes include use of a district biomass boiler and solar panels.
Tim Baynes, Gift of Grouse (Sponsor)
Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land & Estates
Becky Newman, Errichel (Award winner)
Paul Newman, Errichel (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Conservation Award

Sponsored by Wardell Armstrong

East Neuk Estates

An award acknowledging East Neuk Estates for its conservation work to save the corn bunting, one of the fastest declining birds in England and Scotland. Through a series of measures, they have provided the "big three" safe nesting places, insect-rich summer foraging habitats and winter seed food. The project is a collaboration between farmers, land managers, the East Neuk Estates and RSPB.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates
Neil Sutherland, Wardell Armstrong (Sponsor)
Alex Nairn, East Neuk Estates (Award winner)
Andrew Whiteford, Inch Farm, Pittenweem (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Rural Business Award

Sponsored by Turcan Connell

Joint winner - Drimnin Estate

Drimnin's win reflects the outstanding restoration work undertaken on an estate in a very remote location: renewal work which has included the four year restoration of St Columba's Chapel and the addition of a new small distillery, completed in 2017, producing a premium single malt using renewable energy from wood chip harvested on the estate.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates
Simon Mackintosh, Turcan Connell (Sponsor)
Louise Lewis, Drimnin Estate (Award winner)
Derek Lewis, Drimnin Estate (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Joint winner - Luss Estates

Luss Estates Company has long had a desire to grow the local economy and the sustainability of the local community. The first big steps were made by facilitating the development of two international golf courses. This was followed by the refurbishment of the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel, and the creation of the Luss Strategic Development Framework. The Luss Seafood Bar, The Clan Shop, Luss Filling Station and Luss Smokehouse have been developed in the village, all but the later operated by Luss Estates.
Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land & Estates
Simon Mackintosh, Turcan Connell (Sponsor)
Simon Miller, Luss Estates (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Working with Communities Award

Sponsored by The MacRobert Trust

The Grampian Moorland Group

The Grampian Moorland Group are a collection of rural sporting estates that highlight the work the estates and their staff undertake for our countryside. Their biggest project followed Storm Frank hitting Ballater when the group got together and 60 plus gamekeepers joined for a two day project cleaning up the aftermath that other people couldn't. Equipped with all the machinery and the training the lads have had to use them, GMG managed to clear a lot of the debris that littered the river banks and local farmers fields.
Hans MacKenzie Wilson, Grampian Moorland Group (Award winner)
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates
Jeanna Swan, The MacRobert Trust (Sponsor)
Lianne MacLennan, Grampian Moorland Group (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Education Award

Sponsored by Lycetts

Joint winner - Wilderness Foundation - Imbewu Scotland

Imbewu Scotland works with young people aged between 13-15, with the heart of the programme is a three-day wilderness trail that includes learning about camping skills, respectful access to wild land, Leave no Trace ethics and also learning about valuing wild and green space for the future. Many of the young people who attend are chosen from areas with high levels of deprivation.
Hugo Cannon, Lycetts (Sponsor)
Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land & Estates
Jo Roberts, Wildness Foundation (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Joint winner - Dundonnell Estate & Ullapool High School

Dundonnell Estate, has worked with Ullapool High School for many years and over this time have offered the work placements to a number pupils. Last year they ran an event in conjunction with other estates on the River Broom to open the fishing season, giving pupils a chance to learn about salmon fishing and casting. This year there has been placements for pupils involved in deer management and estate maintenance skills. Additionally, they are in the process of organising further events with the school for a "Young Shots Day" in association with BASC
Hugo Cannon, Lycetts (Sponsor)
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates
Alasdair Macdonald, Dundonnell Estate (Award winner)
Doddie Weir, awards host

Iver Salvesen Green Business Award

Charlesfield Farms Ltd - Anaerobic Digestion

At Charlesfield Farms, the estate decided to join the green revolution. The result was a new £10 million anaerobic digestion (AD) plant that produces eco-friendly methane gas from locally grown feedstock, then feeds it directly into the nearby energy grid. The plant in St Boswells in the Borders now generates enough energy to supply up to 4,000 homes. Five full-time staff are involved in its operation and it is estimated to generate £1.5m per annum for the local economy.
Oscar Salvesen (Son of Iver Salvesen)
Wendy Salvesen (Wife of Iver Salvesen)
Elspeth Jackson, Charlesfield Farms (Award winner)
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates

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