Abriachan: A Community’s Woodland Wins the RSPB Nature of Scotland Community Initiative Award

On the evening of 26th November GreenPower was delighted to join in the first virtual Nature of Scotland Awards as the sponsors of the Community Initiative Award.

Sponsoring this category for the ninth year running, it’s still so inspiring to see so many fantastic projects entering the award and with there being more than 30 entries this year competition was tough.

Huge congratulations to the winner, Abriachan: A Community’s Woodland. This is 540 hectares of forest and open hill ground purchased in 1998 from Forest Enterprise. Since then, as a social enterprise, the Abriachan Forest Trust has managed this land to create local employment, improve the environment and encourage it’s enjoyment by the public through a network of spectacular paths, family suited mountain bike trails, innovative outdoor learning as well as health and well-being opportunities.

Two other projects were highly commended, it being so difficult to choose out of so many worthy initiatives:

Speyside Fields for Wildlife is a local charity based in Nethybridge which assists farmers and other landowners to grow crops to benefit a range of wildlife. They also identify opportunities to conserve local wildlife and provide free advice to anyone wishing to undertake similar projects.

Castlemilk Park Volunteers work in partnership with the community, Steering Group Members, and other organisations to enhance the physical environment and maximise opportunities in this unique green space. Their mission statement is that “Castlemilk Park becomes a local resource that brings significant environmental, community and economic benefits to Castlemilk”.

George Baxter, Director of Development at GreenPower who presented the award said, ‘Such was the quality of the entries for the Community Initiative Award it was very hard for the judges to pick a winner. However, Abriachan: A Community’s Woodland thoroughly deserved the award. It’s fantastic and inspirational to see so many people in local communities being innovative and hugely passionate about the natural environment.’