FARMERS and agricultural businesses across rural Scotland who have helped surrounding communities flourish are being urged to enter the 2021 Helping It Happen Awards.

Organised by Scottish Land and Estates, the rural business organisation, the annual awards, which are free to enter, will showcase the work done in 2020/21 by businesses, farms and estates to help rural Scotland thrive during a difficult year.

Last year Peelham Farm in the Scottish Borders won the Innovation in Farming Award by demonstrating its commitment to sustainable self-reliant farming and agricultural practices.

The Helping it Happen Awards will once again be sponsored by GLM and this year there is a new ‘Business Resilience Award’ category which is open to those who have, despite the pandemic, seen their business flourish by adapting, being innovative and working hard.

SLaE chief executive Sarah-Jane Laing said: “This year has been difficult for us all. Our farming sector has faced immense challenges.

“Farmers have done everything in their power in trying times to feed the country and keep their staff in jobs, all while trying to innovate.

“That is why this year we think it is more important than ever to celebrate the talent, innovation, and passion of rural Scotland. To recognise the efforts made in the most difficult of circumstances by our members and others to protect communities, jobs and nature in rural Scotland, through the Helping it Happen Awards.

“There is no shortage of achievements to celebrate from Scotland’s rural businesses. We urge people from Shetland to the Borders to submit their entries for this year’s awards. You can nominate yourself or others.

“The quality of entries we receive to the Helping it Happen Awards is always exceptional, and we are excited to see this year’s crop of nominations.”

The 2021 Helping it Happen Awards categories are:

  • Innovation in Farming Award;
  • Enhancing our Environment through Land Management Award;
  • Rural Business Award;
  • Conservation Award;
  • Education Award;
  • Iver Salvesen Award for Combatting Climate Change;
  • Rural Housing Award;
  • Tourism and Visitor Management Award;
  • Working with Communities Award.

The awards close to entries on August 4, and winners will be announced at a live virtual ceremony on October 27, 2021.