Local marine conservation charity Shortlisted for RSPB Nature of Scotland Award
The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) has been shortlisted in the Coasts and Waters Category at RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards, in recognition of their community-led marine conservation and restoration work.
Established by the local community, COAST works closely with researchers, fishermen and businesses to protect and restore the marine environment on Arran and the wider Clyde, advocating for effective evidence-based decision-making, while supporting the local fishing industry and ensuring community voices are heard. To date, COAST has established 2 substantial zones of marine protection on Arran, which are showing unprecedented signs of marine restoration – including a 50% increase in biodiversity and tripling of commercially important species such as scallops and lobsters. Additionally, COAST has pioneered marine education with the opening of the Discovery Centre, and now the launch of brand-new Research Vessel ‘COAST Explorer’ – which provides invaluable opportunities to engage young people and the public in practical marine conservation and expand COAST’s research and monitoring efforts in these protected areas.
Áine Purcell-Milton, COAST’s Executive Director, says: “We are honoured to be considered for this award, and are proud to be one of many groups of people working to ensure a sustainable future for our environment. The great strides that COAST has made to date would not have been possible without the support and resilience of the community of Arran. We are grateful to be recognised for our work by RSPB Scotland and NatureScot and look forward to continuing to protect ‘Scotland’s seas in miniature’.”
COAST was recently announced as a finalist in the Coasts and Waters category at the Nature of Scotland Awards Shortlist Reception at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by Colin Smyth MSP and sponsored by Beam Suntory.
The 54 finalists will all gather at the EICC on the 22 November to enjoy a night of celebration, where the winners of all 10 categories will be announced.
The awards ceremony, now in its 12th year and co-sponsored by NatureScot, will be hosted by zoologist, TV presenter and RSPB Ambassador Megan McCubbin and TV presenter and nature enthusiast JJ Chalmers.
They will recognise the individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.
Voting has now closed to the public but you can see you can see the shortlist here.
Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “The Nature of Scotland Awards celebrates people and projects who really make a difference for nature in their local communities and across the country.
“Being at the head of the judging panel is a wonderful part of my job, as I get an unrivalled opportunity to hear about inspiring actions and the incredible things that can happen when people work together. – we can’t tackle the nature and climate crisis alone.
“I am so looking forward to seeing everyone at the awards in November, and would like to thank all of our applicants for sharing their tremendous work with us.”
Colin Galbraith, Chair of Awards co-sponsor NatureScot, said: “Our natural world is at the heart of the nation’s well-being, and this year’s shortlisted Nature of Scotland Awards nominees are shining examples of vital, nature-based solutions from people, communities, businesses and organisations across the country.
“As co-sponsor of the awards, we celebrate the inspiring efforts each and every nominee has contributed to Scotland’s mission to tackle biodiversity loss and the nature-climate crisis.”
Anyone with an interest in nature is welcome to attend the Awards, for more information about tickets please see the link here
Featured image of Maerl. Copyright Howard Wood.