Ringlink, which has a membership of more than 2,900 and has driven the industry’s land-based pre-apprenticeship training programme, is a finalist in the awards’ education category.
The business will battle it out for top spot with Fresh Start, the Prince’s Trust at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, and Bells Brae Primary School in Lerwick.
Hugh Grierson from Newmiln organic farm at Perth is a finalist in the farming award, alongside Mossgiel Farm from Mauchline and Finlay’s Cream of Galloway ethical dairy at Rainton Farm, Castle Douglas.
Mr Grierson’s farm first received organic status in 2002 and as well as
meat production the business produces organic potato crisps, eggs and chicken.
Mossgiel dairy farm is also organic and has recently won a tender to supply all the schools in the East Ayrshire Council area with 100% organic, 100% waste-free milk from Scottish organic farms – and deliver it all in 100% electric vans.
Finlay’s ethical dairy produces traditional cheeses and ice-cream from organic milk taken from cows which also suckle their calves, a system which the Finlays say has resulted in a marked improvement in the cows’ health and contentment.
Meanwhile, Pat Wilson Farms from Lochrosque in Wester Ross are a finalist
in the environment enhancement category.
The landowners have restored more than 1,000ha of degraded peatlands and have a range of native woodland projects. They have capped sheep densities and deer numbers in recent years.
Other finalists include: The Wee Scottish Cider Company with Kingcausie Estate, Deeside, Aberdeenshire, for the rural business award; the Delgatie Castle Trust, Turriff, and Rothiemurcus Estate, near Aviemore, for the tourism and visitor management award; the Cairngorms Capercaillie Project at the Cairngorms National Park for the conservation award; Kula Coffee Hut on Duffus Estate, near Elgin, for the business resilience award; the Communities Housing Trust, near Aviemore, for the rural housing award; and Bunloit Rewilding Limited, Drumnadrochit, and Scourie Community Development Company, Sutherland, for the working with communities award.
SLE chief executive Sarah-Jane Laing said while it had been a difficult year for businesses and individuals, the awards entries had shown how “resilient, resourceful and passionate” individuals, rural businesses and organisations have been
to make a positive contribution to society.
“With five farming entries named as finalists, it’s clear that the sector is home to people and organisations which benefit Scotland by providing employment and training, high-quality food and drink and helping Scotland meet its environmental goals,” she said.
“This year’s entries have provided us with so many inspiring stories and we are pleased that the Helping It Happen Awards are firmly established as a way of recognising how Scotland’s diverse people and businesses are making a vital contribution.”
The winners will be announced at a live virtual ceremony on October 27.