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Farming businesses honoured in Helping it Happen Awards

David Findlay from the Ethical Dairy, which won the Innovation in Farming Award.

Farming businesses are among the winners in this year’s Helping it Happen Awards.

The awards, run by landowners body Scottish Land & Estates, seek to showcase the work of farms, estates and rural businesses to help rural Scotland thrive during a difficult year.

This year’s winners include Pat Wilson Farms at Lochrosque in Wester Ross for the Enhancing our Environment through Land Management Award, and the Ethical Dairy based near Castle Douglas in Dumfries for the Innovation in Farming Award.

Pat Wilson Farms won the award in recognition of work to restore almost 2,500 acres of degraded peatlands, a range of native woodland projects, and work to cap sheep densities and deer numbers in recent years.

The Ethical Dairy was recognised by judges for its “brave approach” to dairy farming – the farm produces a range of cheese and ice cream using organic milk from the herd which operates a cow on calf system.

‘Considerable contribution’

Meanwhile, Laurencekirk-based machinery ring Ringlink won the Education Award in recognition of its work to develop a land-based pre-apprenticeship training programme.

Judges said: “With an increasing demand for workers in the agricultural sector, they are helping to secure the future of their pre-apprentices, and the sector”.

Other winners include: the Tourism & Visitor Management Award to Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore; the Conservation Award to Rottal Estates in Kirriemuir; the Business Resilience Award to bespoke acrylic manufacturer Midton, based in Lochgilphead; joint winner in the Rural Housing Award to the Communities Housing Trust based near Aviemore; and the Working with Communities Award to the Scourie Community Development Company in Sutherland.

“I want to offer my congratulations to all the winners,” said SLE chief executive, Sarah-Jane Laing.

“All the winners have made a considerable contribution in their own way to rural Scotland, and their environmental impact is always at the forefront of their minds.”

She added: “The Helping It Happen Awards quite rightly celebrate those farms, organisations and estates going the extra mile to make a positive contribution to their local community and wider Scotland whether that’s through climate action, providing jobs and training or building affordable housing.

“This contribution is crucial to ensure that Scotland has a successful green recovery from the Covid pandemic.”

Four farms and Ringlink in running for SLE gongs

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