Entries are now open for the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland's prestigious Technical Innovation Awards.

The 2019 awards, sponsored again by Hillhouse Quarry Group, will encourage and recognise innovation in the design and manufacture of machines, equipment and appliances which advance the effective and efficient practice of either agriculture, horticulture, equestrian, forestry, renewable energy or estate services.

RHASS chief steward of the awards, Christo Shepherd, said: “Technical innovation holds the key to unlocking the potential of Scotland’s agricultural and rural industries, whether in keeping with the industry, improving the environment, promoting best practice or ensuring operator safety and comfort.

“The RHASS awards provide a unique and highly regarded means to promote new ideas, whether conceived in the farm workshop or on the test benches of multi-national manufacturers. I look forward to celebrating the innovations that have been developed over the last year at this year’s Royal Highland Show.”

Entries must be machine, appliances, technical components or important ancillary equipment and should be commercially available or prototypes in development. All entries are judged and benchmarked on individual merit.

Two Golds, five Silver and three Certificates of Commendations were awarded last year. McVeigh Parker won Gold for its pioneering fencing system, Clipex. Explaining why they entered the prestigious awards, Chris Hambridge, from McVeigh Parker, said: “McVeigh Parker applied for the award as it was a nationally recognised, non-biased award, requiring a quality product that could pass strict entry criteria. Winning has certainly increased the profile of our company and the products we promote and has given validity and assurance to the end user, demonstrating that the awarded products have stood up to independent testing.”

* The closing date for entries is April 14, with judging taking place before May and details about the entry process can be found on the Royal Highland Show website.