Perthshire game and wildlife trainee Charlie Blance has won Scotland’s top award for land-based and aquaculture skills (ALBAS).
The award was presented by Scotland’s rural training provider Lantra.
Accepting her award, Charlie, 20, from Methven, said: “It’s really important that women are seen to be succeeding in this industry and I hope my story will be an example for others looking to do the same.”
She is employed at Dunan Estate, Pitlochry, where she has worked since completing an HNC in Gamekeeping and Wildlife Management at Borders College.
Charlie also the won the Game and Wildlife industry category in Lantra Scotland’s 18th annual Learner of the Year awards contest.
Runner-up for the overall ALBAS award was Shaun MacLeod, aged 17 from Urquhart, Elgin. Shaun, who also won the event’s Modern Apprentice of the Year title, is currently completing an apprenticeship in agriculture with Matheson’s Ltd, through SRUC.
The awards ceremony, held in Dunblane, featured the new Anna Murray Partnership Working Award.
Presented by Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, the top award in this category went to the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, a group set up to identify and eliminate barriers to women entering, progressing, leading and networking across the agricultural industries.
Lantra’s Scotland director Liz Barron-Majerik described the awards as a very effective way of recognising the success of trainees in Scotland’s rural sector, as well as getting employers involved in growing the next generation of talent.
“The ALBAS showcase highlights the many incredible people who have joined Scotland’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries and who are getting their careers under way,” she said, adding that all entries, not only the winners, achieved very high standards.
Other winners and runners-up included: Agriculture Learner of the Year runner-up, Lawrence Martin, Tillicoultry; Environmental Conservation Learner of the Year winner, Hanna Rennie, Stirling; Game and Wildlife Learner of the Year runner-up, Stewart Sloss, Tomatin.
The Land-based Engineering Learner of the Year runner-up is Gavin Elrick, Aberdeen; Higher Education, SCQF Level 10 Winner Valentina Romano, Brechin; Secondary Schools Award, Joint Winners Kemnay Academy and Wallace Hall Academy; School Pupil Award: Winner, Xavio Vastano, Kincraig.