The Helping it Happen Awards 2022, run by Scottish Land & Estates, have announced the finalists within the remaining four of their nine categories. Each of these categories focuses on rural businesses and how these businesses interact with their local communities and with visitors – highlighting how rural areas are underpinned by the business operating within them.
The overall focus of the Helping it Happen Awards is on recognising the role estates, farms and rural businesses play in enabling and supporting success in rural conservation, rural enterprise and rural landscapes.
The Helping it Happen Awards 2022 are supported by headline sponsors NatureScot. The following finalists have been selected:
- Rural Business Award – sponsored by Shepherd & Wedderburn
- The Bothy Experience – a captivating site near Glamis, designed for travellers to learn about Scottish life while enjoying homegrown, award-winning gin
- Kinmount House – one of the premier wedding venues in the South West of Scotland
- SkyeSkyns – a business born from crofting and a passion for transforming a meat industry waste product into durable and luxurious sheepskins
- Rural Housing Award – sponsored by Velux
- Ladykirk Estates – a development of 22 houses plus four affordable dwellings adjacent to the village of Swinton in Berwickshire
- Stracathro Estates Ltd – a new family housing development in Angus – built as part of an affordable housing scheme
- Tomintoul Affordable Housing – 12 new affordable homes built on the site of an old secondary school
- Tourism & Visitor Management Award – sponsored by GLM
- Castlecraig Farm – a family-run organic farm overlooking the Moray Firth with suckler cattle, breeding sheep, cereals and Castlecraig Clifftops which is a development of four self-catering cabins
- Kelburn Castle and Estate – the internationally known ‘graffiti castle’ in Ayrshire which aims to ensure that our imaginations are constantly stimulated
- Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping – wild camping based in an Edwardian walled garden near Hawick
- The Fairy Pools car park and off-grid toilets development – a solution to the unexpected and unplanned phenomenon that is Skye’s Fairy Pools
- Working with Communities Award – sponsored by The MacRobert Trust
- Countryside Learning Scotland ADHD Rural Connect – a countryside education charity in Perth & Kinross who provide countryside education, awareness, training, and career opportunities
- Culduthel Woods Group – a community group which has taken a small ‘ownerless’ woodland in Inverness and made it into a new Community Wood of 16 acres
- Fallago Community Grant Scheme – a Roxburge Estates-based fund which supports community organisations to ensure continued safe access to local paths for outdoor exercise
- The Ridge SCIO – an East Lothian project that provides tailored and holistic support to local people to overcome the challenges they face in fulfilling their potential
Alan Laidlaw, RHASS Chief Executive, and a member of the judging panel said:
“Judging involved us looking at nine different categories and almost a hundred entries and the entire panel agreed that the standard was superb. We are enormously proud of the way in which rural Scotland is thriving and collaborating for greater success – both in terms of business growth and sustainability.
“Each year, the Helping It Happen Awards reaffirm my belief that the Scottish countryside is in safe hands for this generation and those still to come.”
Claudia Rowse, NatureScot’s Deputy Director Green Economy said:
“We are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Helping it Happen Awards and are impressed by the quantity and quality of applications. All the projects vividly demonstrate how the environment and communities can be put at the heart of developing thriving rural businesses. It is heartening to see the positive work to tackle the nature and climate crisis, and how progressive land-based businesses are taking action so that we all benefit from a nature-rich future.”
Finalists within the other five categories were announced last week. Please get in touch if you require details.
All award winners, in addition to a small number of special judge awards, will be announced at the Helping it Happen Awards ceremony which will take place on 5th October at The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh.