Murton Shortlisted in RSPB Nature of Scotland AwardsNeil Hardie
An Angus nature reserve hopes to be making space on the counter of its busy tearoom for a major national wellbeing award.
Murton Trust, east of Forfar, has been shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing category of RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland awards.
Murton manages a thriving nature reserve, visitor farm and tearoom set in 100 acres of what was once a sand and gravel quarry.
Its restoration around the early 2000s also won award recognition before the trust embarked on its environmental and educational mission.
Trust manager Alison Elliott says landing the accolade would be a recognition of their work to enrich the lives of everyone from toddler groups to retired volunteers by getting them into the outdoors.
Murton’s offering includes volunteering, educational programmes, family events or simply a leisure visit.
Alison said: “We strive to run our organisation in a way that is inclusive and engaging for our staff, volunteers and our visitors.
“We have clear guiding principles that direct us as an organisation, but our values ensure that we always consider the needs of our community and those who participate in our activities.
“It is wonderful for our work to be highlighted in this shortlist.”
The reserve is free to visit – and it benefits from a public transport service three times a day.
“Murton is aware the cost-of-living crisis is continuing to have a significant impact on the community, with similar challenges that were seen in the pandemic,” continued Alison.
“To support the community, we remove barriers to participating in outdoor activities and ensure their community can access nature.
“Murton is a perfect place for visitors to reaffirm a love for nature or to take first steps in understanding the natural world.”
A total of 54 finalists across 10 categories will gather in Edinburgh for the awards ceremony in November.
They are now in their twelfth year and co-sponsored by NatureScot.
Zoologist, TV presenter and RSPB Ambassador Megan McCubbin and TV presenter and nature enthusiast JJ Chalmers will host the event.
RSPB Scotland director Anne McCall said: “Being at the head of the judging panel is a wonderful part of my job.
“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 climate and nature crisis alone.”