Borders businesses making it happen

Education Award winners; (l-r) Karen Brown, Sally Fleming, Hirsel Estate, William Barnes from Lycetts, George McNeill, David Johnstone.
Education Award winners; (l-r) Karen Brown, Sally Fleming, Hirsel Estate, William Barnes from Lycetts, George McNeill, David Johnstone.

The Borders was well represented this year at the second annual Helping It Happen Awards.

The sell-out event, hosted by member organisation Scottish Land & Estates and sponsored by The MacRobert Trust, shone a light on the passionate work carried out by farms, estates and land-based businesses to help their local communities thrive.

Enhancing our Environment winners (l-r) Mark Mitchell from Bell Ingram, Brian Robeson & Hugh Chalmers from Tweed Forum & George McNeill, David Johnstone.

Enhancing our Environment winners (l-r) Mark Mitchell from Bell Ingram, Brian Robeson & Hugh Chalmers from Tweed Forum & George McNeill, David Johnstone.

The Awards were created in 2017 by Scottish Land & Estates with the purpose of recognising the contribution of farm, estate and land-based businesses to their local communities, and the wider social, environmental and economic benefits to Scotland as a whole.

The Education Award, sponsored by Lycetts, went to Hirsel Estate, Coldstream, for their field to fork schools project.

The Enhancing our Environment Award, sponsored by Bell Ingram, went to Philiphaugh Estate & Tweed Forum, Selkirk, for peatland restoration work.

The event was compered by George McNeill, one of Scotland’s finest sprinters, and attendees at the dinner also played their part by raising money for charity partners RSABI and My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Winners were announced across nine diverse categories, outlining the important role rural businesses play throughout Scotland. Ahead of the Awards ceremony, a shortlist of three finalists for each category had been announced, and the winners were revealed and presented with beautiful, hand-made glass sculptures at the gala evening.

Scottish Land & Estates Executive Director, Sarah-Jane Laing, said: “The 2018 winners have demonstrated that the rural sector is thriving with passionate, innovative forward-looking rural businesses who are providing economic, social and environmental benefits to the countryside.”