Scottish rural awards launched for 2024

10/04/2024
Left to Right: Angus (5) and Charlie (8) launch the 2024 Helping it Happen awards at Active Kids Adventure Park in Perthshire

RURAL communities are being urged to share success stories from their local area as the Helping it Happen Awards 2024 nominations are launched.

Estates, farms, rural businesses, individuals, charities, and projects can all be nominated for the awards that focus on the essential role these parties play in helping the Scottish countryside thrive.

Now in its eighth year, the annual awards organised by Scottish Land & Estates have become one of the leading rural accolades in Scotland.

Helping it Happen is once again supported by returning headline sponsor NatureScot, and the 2024 awards were launched at Active Kids Adventure Park in Stanley near Perth – the winner of last year’s Rural Property Award.

Nominations across ten categories are now open for entries. The ceremony in autumn will also see an Award for Outstanding Contribution to Rural Scotland, which will be decided by the Helping it Happen judging panel. The awards are open to everyone – not just Scottish Land & Estates members.

Sarah-Jane Laing, CEO of Scottish Land & Estates, said:

“Our Helping it Happen Awards aim to spotlight the essential contributions made by land-based organisations and individuals to rural communities throughout Scotland, and I’m thrilled to kick off the nomination process for 2024.

“Whether it’s aiding the environment, bolstering local economies, or making strides in farming and education, these awards celebrate those whose efforts often go under the radar.

“We encourage people across Scotland to nominate deserving candidates for this year’s awards. Last year’s entries were outstanding, and I eagerly await the nominations for 2024. Given our past experiences, I know our judging panel will face a tough task in selecting finalists.”

Claudia Rowse, Deputy Director- Green Economy at NatureScot, said:

“Each year, the Helping it Happen Awards highlight the many inspirational people who are taking positive steps to restore nature while enhancing the life and economy of rural Scotland. We know we need to work together in partnership to tackle the nature and climate emergencies, and I look forward to seeing the innovative and collaborative entries this year demonstrating the effective actions land managers are taking to improve nature.”

The host of this year’s launch, Active Kids Adventure Park, was honoured in 2023 for its work creating a successful year-round family-focused attraction, supporting local development, economic growth, job creation and young people in rural Scotland.

Located on a farm in rural Perthshire, providing educational play for children up to the age of 12 years, Active Kids now includes a full restaurant and kitchen providing home-cooked meals for all to enjoy and has quickly grown to become a destination venue for families. 

Rowland Thomson, Business Development Manager at Active Kids Adventure Park, said:

“Having opened our doors in 2005, we have been welcoming children to play here for almost 20 years and are proud to be a place where kids can explore and thrive whilst contributing to rural Perthshire’s social, economic and environmental wellbeing.

“The Helping it Happen awards were a great experience for us and not only gave attention to the positive work we do as a business but also helped raise the profile of Scotland’s rural communities and economies. We would encourage others to enter nominations for the 2024 awards and wish everyone as much success as we had.”

Nominations must be submitted via the Scottish Land & Estates website (https://www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk/helping-it-happen) by the deadline of June 28, with judging taking place shortly after. The awards are open to rural organisations and businesses, not just Scottish Land & Estates members.  A gala awards ceremony where the winners will be announced for 2024 will be held in the autumn.

The complete list of categories for the Helping It Happen Awards 2024 is as follows:

  • Conservation Award sponsored by Anderson Strathern
  • Education Award Education Award sponsored by Hampden & Co
  • Enhancing Our Environment through Land Management Award sponsored by NatureScot
  • Innovation in Farming Award sponsored by Douglas Home & Co
  • Iver Salvesen Award for Combatting Climate Change sponsored by Murray Beith Murray
  • The Award for Outstanding Contribution to Rural Scotland
  • Rural Business Award sponsored by Shepherd + Wedderburn
  • Rural Property Award sponsored by Bidwells
  • Rural Rising Star Award
  • Tourism & Visitor Management Award sponsored by GLM
  • Working with Communities Award 

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