Press Release

2019 ‘Helping It Happen’ Rural Awards Open for Entries

By 5th April 2019 No Comments

People across rural Scotland are being urged to share their stories of the work done by local estates, farms and land-based businesses to help their surrounding communities flourish, as nominations for the 2019 Helping It Happen Awards get underway.

Helping it Happen Awards

Michael Strang Steel, Estate Manager, Philiphaugh Estate, David Johnstone, Chairman of Scottish Land and Estates and Rachel Coyle, representing Tweed Forum

Following two successful years, organiser Scottish Land & Estates has declared the Helping It Happen Awards 2019 open for business. The national Awards, which aim to recognise the role of estates, farms and rural businesses in enabling and supporting success in rural areas helping rural Scotland thrive, will once again be sponsored by The MacRobert Trust.

In 2018, winners from the length and breadth of Scotland, from Orkney down to Selkirk and almost every region in between, took home a coveted trophy and are now encouraging other rural businesses to enter.

To celebrate the launch of the 2019 awards, David Johnstone, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, visited Philiphaugh Estate near Selkirk. Philiphaugh Estate won the 2018 Enhancing Our Environment Award for their peatland restoration project which took place at Dryhope Farm on the estate; linking upland peatland restoration with the salmon fishing on the River Tweed – from catchment to catching fish!

David Johnstone said:

“Rural Scotland is a hotbed of innovation, conservation and passion and the 2019 Helping it Happen Awards aim to reward the commitment of those who are helping to grow and sustain rural areas with their skills and dedication.

“We want to highlight and celebrate the significant positive contribution land-based businesses make in rural areas throughout rural Scotland – in particular, the ways in which they add value to support the local economy and the environment for the wider benefit of they provide environmental benefits for the wider community. We’re were incredibly pleased proud with the success of 2017 and 2018 awards of the success of the awards over the past 2 years, and look forward to recognising and rewarding even more worthy businesses this year.

“We urge people up and down the country to submit their entries for this year’s awards – the quality of entries last year was exceptional, and we are looking forward to receiving this year’s crop of stories. I am sure the judges will have a tough task in narrowing down the shortlist once entries close in July this year.”

Graham Bichan of Orkney Ice Cream spoke about his win in the 2018 Rural Business category:

“We were absolutely delighted with our win. Our small family business has grown and diversified over many decades and we are constantly working to modernise and develop every facet to keep up with trends and industry demand, as well as keeping an eye on the future and how we can best serve our customers, the community and the environment through our production methods and business model.

“This recognition of our progressive approach and our achievements to date means a lot and we will continue to wholeheartedly support Helping It Happen and its work to champion rural businesses throughout Scotland.”

Notes to editors

  • To nominate, people are being asked to share how their local estate, farm or rural business has made a positive contribution to their area. Entries can be submitted via Scottish Land & Estates’ website – – before the closing date of 8th July 2019.
  • Entries are once again being considered in the following nine categories:
    • Rural Business Award
    • Tourism Award
    • Rural Housing Award
    • Education Award
    • MacRobert Trust Award for Working with Communities
    • Conservation Award
    • The Iver Salvesen Green Business Award
    • Innovation in Farming Award
    • Enhancing Our Environment Award
  • Entries for the Helping it Happen Awards 2019 will be reviewed by an independent judging panel with three finalists selected in each category. The members of our judging panel for the 2019 Awards are:

    • Lucy Beattie, owner of Leckmelm Estate
    • Alan Laidlaw, Chief Executive of RHASS
    • Nina Clancy, Chief Executive of RSABI
    • David Whiteford, Chair of the North Highland Initiative
    • Simon Power, Estate Manager for the MacRobert Trust
    • Julia Latto, Project Manager in the Rural Operations Team at Scottish Enterprise
    • The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony which will take place at The Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh on 2nd October 2019.
  • ENDS

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