Press Release

Finalists announced for 2018 Helping it Happen Awards

By 15th August 2018 No Comments

The rural campaign Helping it Happen, run by member organisation Scottish Land & Estates, has announced the finalists for its 2018 National Awards.

The independent judging panel was delighted with the high calibre of entries for its second year, successfully demonstrating the number and diversity of rural businesses that exist throughout Scotland. The awards were created to highlight the wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits which are vital to the success and survival of communities throughout rural Scotland.

The independent judging panel was drawn from a range of rural business owners, professionals and mentors who focused on the involvement and impact of each business on its local community, and the initiatives undertaken to overcome the challenges of remote rural enterprise to keep up with consumer trends, environmental standards, innovative technologies and achieve long-term sustainability.

Following a series of meetings to agree on the category finalists, judge Nina Clancy commented:

“The diversity of entries this year is brilliant to see. Estate and land-based businesses from all forms of commercial, agricultural, leisure and many other sectors have come forward to tell us their stories. It is quite clear that they have made a difference to their local communities and beyond. Further to this, the competence of the entrepreneurs and the professionalism of even the smallest businesses is extremely impressive. These enterprises and services are here to stay, grow, and will become increasingly significant on the national economic and social scale.”

Previous winner of the Tourism category, Rebecca Newman of Errichel House & Thyme Restaurant commented:

“Congratulations to all the finalists of this year’s Helping it Happen Awards. As rural entrepreneurs, we have learned that the unique challenges we face are always more easily overcome by partnering with local resources to the benefit of all involved. The Helping it Happen Awards wholly endorse this philosophy and the rewards that come with it. We look forward to seeing the scheme continue to develop as a champion of rural entrepreneurship and of cooperation between land-based businesses and local enterprises throughout Scotland.”

SLE Executive Director, Sarah-Jane Laing commented:

“We would like to congratulate this impressive list of finalists for the 2018 Awards. They are all prime examples of the contribution made by estates, farms and rural entrepreneurs to Scottish society and industry. We also want to congratulate and thank all those who entered or nominated a business – it’s clear to see that there are lots great stories of innovation, collaboration and success and I am delighted that our awards provide an opportunity for these stories to be shared.”


The finalists for each category have been announced as follows:

Tourism: Catchpenny Safari Lodges, Elie Estate; Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye; Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy.

Rural Business: Orkney Ice Cream, Kirkwall; Kirklands Farm partnership, Cassillis & Culzean Estates; Ogilvy Spirits, Hatton of Ogilvy Farm.

Rural Housing: Raehills Home Farm, Annandale Estate, Lockerbie; Affordable Housing, Scone Estate.

Education: Field to Fork schools project, Hirsel Estate, Coldstream; Aigas outdoor learning holidays; the Border Union Agricultural Society’s Countryside Day.

Working with Communities: Game for Giving, an initiative by the Angus Glens and Grampian Moorland Groups; Diversifying community income at Mar Estate; Ullapool High School and Leckmelm Estate.

Innovation in Farming: Mossgiel Farm Organic Dairy; Grewars vending and farm shop; Galloway Chillies, Dumfries & Galloway

Enhancing our Environment: Philiphaugh Estate peatland restoration; Invercauld Estate woodland projects; Farr Estate peatland restoration.

Conservation: Drimnin Estate conservation schemes; Glenogil Estates habitat management; The Scottish Bee Company.

Entries that were Highly Commended or gained Special Recognition: Captain Partridge (Education); Falls of Shin community centre (Rural Business); Jenna Ross of Riding the Slime Wave (Innovation in Farming).

The finalists of the Iver Salvesen Green Business Award will be announced shortly. This is a separate award in recognition of businesses that are committed to enhancing their environmental and social credentials and that are working to lower their environmental footprint.

The winner of each category will be announced at the Helping it Happen Awards gala evening on 03 October at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. Tickets are available from Scottish Land & Estates.




Notes to editors:

  • The Helping it Happen Awards are run by Scottish Land & Estates The Awards were founded in 2017.
  •  The Helping it Happen campaign aims to highlight how landowners and rural businesses across Scotland play a key role in enabling and supporting success in rural areas. This campaign provides case studies covering a diverse range of sectors, including examples such as providing affordable rural housing, the development of renewable energy schemes and partnerships with local schools to deliver rural skills qualifications. For more information, visit
  • The members of Helping It Happen Awards judging panel are: Simon Power (Estate Manager, MacRobert Trust); Nina Clancy (Chief Executive, RSABI); Alan Laidlaw (Chief Executive, RHASS); David Whiteford (Chair, North Highland Initiative); Lucy Beattie (Owner, Leckmelm Estate); and Julia Latto (Project Manager in the Rural Operations Team, Scottish Enterprise).
  • Scottish Land & Estates is a membership organisation for landowners, rural businesses and rural professionals. Scottish Land & Estates promotes the wide range of benefits land-based businesses provide: tourist attractions, leisure facilities and landscapes enjoyed by the public, as well as, housing, employment, tourism & enterprise and farming opportunities. For more information, visit
  • The Helping it Happen Awards and Scottish Land & Estates welcome approaches from journalists. Please contact 07843021813 for further information.

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