A Kinghorn project which transformed a derelict site into an environmental education and volunteering centre has scooped a prestigious accolade.
The Ecology Centre, a community owned and established charity based at Kinghorn Loch, won the Community Initiative category at the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards held recently.
Staff at the facility impressed the judges with their initiative to provide education and volunteering programmes to people across Scotland.
The education programme, involving around 6000 people annually, is curriculum linked and helps children discover nature for the first time, while the Centre’s volunteering opportunities engage people from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities with nature.
As a result, volunteers and participants gain confidence, self-esteem, life skills and a love of the natural world.
Speaking after winning the award, Julie Samuel, Ecology Centre general manager, told the Press they were really pleased to win the accolade: “We are delighted to receive this award which is a well-deserved pat on the back for the army of volunteers who turn up at the Ecology Centre week after week in all weather conditions,” she said.
“They and work tirelessly to keep the site looking spectacular for the public to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and environment to thrive”.
Held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh last Wednesday, and hosted by comedian and talk show host Fred MacAulay and broadcaster and presenter Sally Magnusson, the Nature of Scotland Awards recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in nature conservation.
The event brought together a range of industry professionals, public sector organisations, community groups, politicians, charities and conservationists, all of whom have an interest in safeguarding and conserving Scotland’s greatest asset - its natural heritage.
Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “With the Year of Natural Scotland coming to a close, the Nature of Scotland Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the very best in Scottish conservation. Congratulations to the very worthy winners.”
He added: “We hope the standard set will encourage many others across the country to follow suit, making Scotland a fantastic home for nature.”