SCOTTISH Land and Estates are urging nominees to come forward for The Helping It Happen Awards, before nominations close on Monday, July 8.

The awards were set up to recognise the economic, social and environmental contribution of rural businesses throughout Scotland, and the level of support they have since attracted was, said SLE, 'testimony to the range of enterprises, large and small, that are working to improve quality of life, social environment and economic health in rural Scotland'.

Open to any Scottish rural enterprise, the nine award categories are intended to demonstrate the role of rural businesses in shaping local communities, educating younger generations, and maintaining a healthy environment and ecology.

Estate manager for the MacRobert Trust and a member of the Helping It Happen Awards judging panel, Simon Power, commented: “I support the awards because I believe it is time that rural businesses receive the recognition that they deserve for the significant contribution they make working with their local communities in a wide range of activities; this also applies to the work that many rural businesses undertake to protect and enhance the biodiversity and landscape under their management and the welcome they provide to visitors to their areas. I am delighted to be able to take part in judging; I am sure that it will be challenging to narrow it down to just one winner in each category."

The independent panel of judges of the 2019 Helping It Happen Awards volunteer their expertise in support of Scottish rural entrepreneurship. Judge Alan Laidlaw, chief executive of RHASS commented: "There are so many great initiatives going on in rural Scotland that often go unseen. The Helping It Happen awards are a great opportunity to celebrate landowners, farmers and businesses working together to make our rural economy thrive. I am delighted to be involved in recognising those who work hard to get new ideas off the ground."