Kinclune, a family-run organic, upland livestock unit in Angus, has won the Food and Farming Award at RSPB Scotland’s 10th anniversary Nature of Scotland Awards.

The family farming team, including sisters Virginia Osborne Antolovi and Aylwin Pillai, believes that grassland livestock units have massive potential to produce healthy, sustainable food for the nation, while also benefitting the environment.

In particular, Kinclune has sought to showcase the beneficial relationship between sensitively managed livestock production and wader conservation, and has worked with the RSPB and Working for Waders to create and improve habitat for the birds, including wader scrape creation and tree removal, predator control and nest monitoring, alongside its 105 strong beef suckler herd .

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In part motivated by what they describe as the 'almost overwhelming negative media stories around climate change and cattle farming', the sisters have shared their experiences on Facebook and Twitter, through the Nature Friendly Farming Network – of which Aylwin is a steering group member. The 2021 RSPB breeding bird survey of Kinclune found 47 bird species, including 13 Red List (threatened) and 12 Amber List (near threatened) species, including five threatened species of wader, demonstrating just how important farmland habitats are for nature.

Co-sponsored by NatureScot, the Nature of Scotland Awards celebrate individuals, businesses and organisations that support Scotland’s wildlife. In the citation for its award, Kinclune Organic Farm is praised for demonstrating that 'it is in the power of Scottish farmers to farm our way out of the biodiversity crisis by placing environmental and biodiversity considerations at the heart of management decisions'.

Pictured: Lapwing on Kinclune in June 2020.

All photographs courtesty of Aylwin Pillai with 105 strong beef suckler herd