Over the years I’ve received a number of awards for my work of ecological restoration for the Caledonian Forest in Scotland.
The first of those was in 1991, when the Trees for Life project (which was part of the Findhorn Foundation at the time, before it became an independent charity) was declared the UK Conservation Project of the Year. This was an award scheme run by the Conservation Foundation in London, and the award itself was presented by David Bellamy, who was a very prominent environmentalist at the time.
In 2001 I was the recipient of the prestigious Schumacher Award, named in honour of E.F. Schumacher, the author of the landmark book, ‘Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered’. The award was given in recognition of my ‘inspirational and practical work on conserving and restoring degraded ecosystems’.
In 2001 I was also shortlisted for the ‘Walking your talk award’ by the readers of Kindred Spirit magazine in the UK.
In 2012 I was voted the winner of the Environment category in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards. These mark the achievements of individuals who provide inspiration through outstanding contributions to Scottish cultural life. The award was presented by Scottish radio broadcaster and journalist, Lesley Riddoch at a special ceremony in Edinburgh.
The following year, in 2013, I received another accolade at a major event in Edinburgh when I won the Outstanding Contribution award at the annual Nature of Scotland Awards, which are run by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). This event, and the previous one in 2012, are amongst the few occasions when I’ve had to wear a suit and tie!
At the end of 2015, I was included in The Guardian newspaper’s alternative New Year’s honours list, where I was named as a hero of 2015 and received The Guardian’s Medal of Honour for my conservation work in the Scottish Highlands.
During my time at Trees for Life, the charity received a number of awards itself for the work of restoring the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland. These included the Millennium Marque in 2000, an accolade given to projects that ‘demonstrate environmental excellence for the 21st century.’
In 2012 Trees for Life participated in the Diamond Jubilee Wood project, organised by the Woodland Trust to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee, by planting a 60 acre native woodland on its Dundreggan Conservation Estate. In October I represented Trees for Life at a special event in Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, where Princess Anne presented commemorative plaques to all the participating organisations that had planted 60 acres of woodland as Diamond Jubilee Woods in Scotland.
In 2009, the volunteer Conservation Weeks run by Trees for Life every year since 1991 in the Scottish Highlands were listed as one of the Top 10 Conservation Holidays Worldwide by BBC Wildlife Magazine.
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