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Nature awards accolade for Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership at RSPB event

By Caroline McMorran

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Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) has been highly commended in the community initiative category of RSPB Scotland's 10th anniversary Nature of Scotland Awards (NoSA).

The annual awards, co-sponsored by NatureScot, mark a decade of celebrating Scotland’s nature champions.

Nature of Scotland Awards 2021.
Nature of Scotland Awards 2021.

The awards' scheme recognises individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.

Fifty-two initiatives from across Scotland were shortlisted in nine categories, and winners were announced at a virtual ceremony.

One of the largest community-led partnership in Scotland, CALLP has 14 partners, 10 of which are drawn from local communities.

The partnership, which is coming to an end of its current phase of funding, has undertaken more than 30 projects, thanks to £5m of funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

The initiative has focused not just on the area’s ecology and wildlife but also on supporting rural industries, creating employment opportunities, recording the historical role of the community in the landscape and attracting people to both visit and live in the area.

Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape scheme manager Boyd Alexander said: "As the scheme comes to an end, we are so pleased that this commendation recognises the huge range of achievements CALLP has delivered.

The projects that have been undertaken encompass nature recovery and economic opportunity. They have broadened horizons and cultural identity.

"Native woodlands have been planted or brought back to active management; local people have been trained in deer management, crofting techniques and other rural skills; iconic paths on mountain, woodland and coast have been created or upgraded; and children from every local school have enjoyed countless hours of engagement with nature.

"We can achieve so much more for nature and people when we work together like this."

CALLP is led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

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