A Highland charity has been awarded for their efforts in conservation as they take the top spot at this year’s Nature of Scotland awards.
Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust claimed the RSPB Nature of Scotland Coasts and Waters Award for their highly successful Hebridean Whale Trail.
The trail was first launched by the Mull-based charity in June last year and remains the first of its kind in the UK.
It connects 33 top places across the Hebridean archipelago and Scotland’s west coast that offer opportunities for land-based sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises, or showcases the region’s marine heritage.
The award was presented to the charity during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday evening hosted by BAFTA-winning naturalist Steve Backshall, and Euan McIlwraith who is a presenter on BBC’s Landward.
It marks the first time the Nature of Scotland awards, led by RSPB Scotland and co-sponsored by national agency NatureScot, has been hosted online.
Director Alison Lomax, spoke of their delight at picking up the prestigious accolade.
She said “We’re thrilled to have won this prestigious award, and hope this success will further promote the Hebridean Whale Trail, which has really caught people’s imagination since its launch last year.
“By promoting low-impact marine wildlife watching from land, the trail is championing the importance of protecting the Hebrides’ wonderful and globally important marine wildlife. Collaboration was key in forging the trail, and its success is testament to the people and communities who have come together to create this exciting initiative.”
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust has been taking action for the conservation of cetaceans off western Scotland for over 25 years. The Hebridean Whale Trail was established thanks to a grant from the Coastal Communities Fund.