Fife projects in running for nature awards

One of the projects noninated has been helping the corn bunting.
One of the projects noninated has been helping the corn bunting.

Tayport Community Garden and farmers, land managers and estates in Fife are among those shortlisted for RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.

Now in their sixth year, the awards are organised by the RSPB to find and celebrate the most dedicated and passionate people working to protect Scotland’s internationally renowned wildlife and habitats.

The Tayport Community Garden, which welcomes people of all ages to enjoy growing food together, was shortlisted in both the Community Initiative and Youth & Education categories.

The garden runs three work days a week for volunteers and Tayport Primary School and local Brownies and childminding groups visit weekly too. They also run an ‘Earth Explorers’ programme and have a new role as a ‘learning destination’ for Children’s University.

Jenny Glen, volunteer co-ordinator, said: “Tayport Community Garden are delighted to be shortlisted for the Community Initiative category of the Nature of Scotland Award. We welcome people of all ages and levels of experience to enjoy growing food together and to learn more about our local environment. We particularly want children to experience delight in the natural world and to respect and care for the environment now and in the future.”

Farmers, land managers and estates from across Fife and Angus were shortlisted in the RSPB Species Champion category in recognition of their “outstanding commitment to change the fortunes” to save the corn bunting.

Corn buntings have suffered huge declines across Scotland including 83 per cent in eastern Scotland between 1989 and 2007. Now, thanks to the efforts of farmers and land managers, as part of the Corn Bunting Recovery Project, numbers are increasing, birds have been seen in areas where they haven’t been for decades and corn buntings are no longer one of the fastest declining birds in Scotland.

Farmer Peter Peddie said: “It’s great that everybody who has been helping corn buntings has been nominated for the ‘Nature of Scotland Award’. It’s great to do something that helps wildlife and with the corn bunting project we know that we can make a real difference. Fingers crossed for the final round!”

Edward Baxter from the East Neuk Estates Group added: “We appreciate that the quality of entrants is really high and are delighted to be recognised for the work we have done.”

The winners will be announced on November 23. For more details visit www.rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland.