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Who has the greenest fields?

13th June 2016

Nominations for the Cairngorms Nature Farm Award 2016 are now open and your help is needed to find the winner.

Cairngorms Nature wants to recognise and reward farmers and crofters from within the Cairngorms National Park who are making a substantial contribution to the natural environment around them, whether big or small.

This award recognises farmers and crofters who do their best, within the course of their business, to maintain and enhance the outstanding wildlife in the Cairngorms National Park.

The winner could be a farm business which has been making a steady and consistent contribution to the landscape and environment for a number of years, or which has changed its management practices to make a real difference to the environment.

Neil Gordon of Gallovie Farm won the award last year. Neil was chosen by the judges for the work he has been carrying out to improve habitats for wading birds and how he has woven this, often unseen conservation work, into his normal, everyday running of the farm.

Neil told us, “It’s always nice to see bird life doing well; it’s a sign of a healthy farm. A little bit of extra attention here and there can make a big difference to wildlife, without having any impact on your business”

Eleanor Mackintosh, Board member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), explains:  “Without farmers and crofters in the Cairngorms National Park we would lose many of the species, habitats and landscapes that we all know and love.  We want to recognise those people who go the extra mile in looking after the amazing nature we have here in the National Park and I am looking forward to seeing the nominations”.

The Judges will be looking at areas that are currently managed under environmental schemes but they will also be hoping to find people that have gone beyond what’s asked for by e.g. creating wet areas for wading birds, protecting river banks and by planting native woodlands that in time will provide shelter for livestock and wildlife.

The award will be judged by a panel of judges representing both Cairngorms Nature and the farming community. The panel will be looking for a farm or croft which has had a positive effect on the environment, whether by focused action for priority species or localised habitat management.

The Cairngorms Nature Farm Award will be presented at the Grantown Show on Thursday 11th August and the winner will receive an outdoor plaque to display at their farm as well as a personal prize.

If you know a farm business that is making a real contribution to wildlife and would like to nominate them for this award you can nominate them HERE

The closing date for nominations is July 18th