A Perth school’s campaign against plastic bottles has been nominated for a top conservation prize.
The wild bottle sighting project, led by pupils at Our Lady’s Primary School, is one of three Courier Country schemes shortlisted for the prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.
Fife’s Wild Planet Explorers, which hosts fun events to encourage future generations of biologists and conservationists, has also been nominated.
Ninewells Hospital’s community garden has been shortlisted in the community initiative category.
The nominations were announced at a reception in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday evening.
Now in its seventh year, the RSPB Scotland-run awards aim to recognise and celebrate people and projects throughout the country that have shown excellence and innovation in conservation.
More than 50 groups and individuals have been recognised since the ceremony, sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage, began in 2012.
The Wild Bottle Sighting project at Our Lady’s saw pupils working with the Marine Conservation Society to highlight the issue of littered plastic bottles.
Backed by the Have You Got the Bottle? campaign, the children led a social media blitz which helped to create a map of dropped plastic across the country. The work was recognised at the Scottish Parliament.
Catherine Gemmell, Scotland conservation officer for the Marine Conservation Society, said: “It has been so inspirational working with the pupils and teachers from Our Lady’s Primary on this campaign.
“From the classroom, to the beach and even to Parliament, our young people are showing us all how we can stand up and fight for change to protect our seas. I can’t wait to continue working with these awesome and true Sea Champions and I am delighted they have been shortlisted.”
The school is a finalist in the education award category.
The Wild Planet Explorers work with children as young as three, with fun, educational and interactive sessions at schools, events, festivals and parties.
In Dundee, the Ninewells Community Garden project aims to “promote wellbeing through therapeutic gardening” and “a place where people as well as plants can flourish.”
The one-acre plot is maintained and developed by volunteers and is always open for picnics, walks and play.
Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “One of the highlights of my job as director of RSPB Scotland and chair of the judging panel for the Nature of Scotland Awards is to be given the opportunity to sit down and read all of the applications.
“Each year as we get more, it becomes a bigger job but one I love as I learn about the inspiring projects and people working hard to conserve Scotland’s important habitats and wildlife.”
The winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony on November 22.