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Helping It Happen Awards 2023 Launched With Revamped Set Of Categories

Rural communities are being urged to share success stories from their local regions as the nominations for the Helping it Happen Awards 2023 are launched.

Estates, farms, rural businesses, individuals, charities and projects can all be nominated for awards which focus on the key role these parties play in helping the Scottish countryside to thrive.

Now in its seventh year, the annual awards are organised by Scottish Land & Estates and have become one of the leading rural accolades in Scotland.

The Helping it Happen Awards 2023 are once again supported by returning headline sponsor NatureScot and this year has a revamped set of categories, with two new additions and one expanded category.

The Award for Outstanding Contribution to Rural Scotland, the first of two new categories, aims to celebrate those who have spent their lives working in and for Scotland’s countryside, whilst the Rural Rising Star Award is designed to shine a light on those who have achieved success through determination and growth, making themselves ones to watch in the rural sector in years to come.

The Rural Property Award, which was previously the Rural Housing Award, has been adapted to include not only those developing much needed rural housing, but additionally to consider outstanding design and architecture.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said:

“SLE’s Helping it Happen Awards seeks to highlight the vital contributions made by land-based businesses, organisations and individuals to their communities across rural Scotland and I’m excited to be launching the nomination process for 2023.

“Whether it be helping the environment and nature, supporting employment and the local economy or undertaking crucial work across sectors such as farming, housing or education, these awards have celebrate the impact that many unsung heroes provide to society.

“Once again we would urge people from all over Scotland to submit their nominations for this year’s awards. We were delighted with the quantity and quality of entries last year and I await this year’s crop of nominations with great anticipation. Going by previous years, I know our judging panel will have a difficult task ahead of them when it comes to selecting our finalists.”

Claudia Rowse, Deputy Director- Green Economy at NatureScot said:

“The Helping It Happen Awards are a great way to recognise the rural businesses which are leading the way in Scotland, helping their communities and nature to flourish and doing their part to tackle the nature loss and climate change crises. We would welcome entries from farms, estates and businesses whose work restoring nature has played a key role in their success and resilience, giving us inspiration for the future.”

One of last year’s winners was Stracathro Estates, winning the Rural Housing Award for the building of eleven houses all for let to young, local, working families at affordable rents of around 40 per cent less than open market.

Hugh Campbell Adamson, chairman of Stracathro Estates, said:

“The awards were a great experience for us and not only gave attention to the positive work we do as an estate but also helped raise the profile of Scotland’s rural businesses, economies and communities. We would encourage others to nominate for the 2023 awards and wish everyone as much success as we have had.”

Nominations must be submitted via the Scottish Land & Estates website by the deadline of 30 June, with judging taking place shortly after. The awards are open to all rural organisations and businesses, not just members of Scottish Land & Estates.  A gala awards ceremony where the winners will be announced for 2023 will be held in the autumn.

The full list of categories for the Helping it Happen Awards 2023 are as follows:

  • Conservation Award sponsored by Anderson Strathern
  • Education Award Education Award sponsored by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
  • Enhancing Our Environment through Land Management Award sponsored by NatureScot
  • Innovation in Farming Award sponsored by Douglas Home & Co
  • Iver Salvesen Award for Combatting Climate Change sponsored by Murray Beith Murray
  • The Award for Outstanding Contribution to Rural Scotland
  • Rural Business Award sponsored by Shepherd + Wedderburn
  • Rural Property Award
  • Rural Rising Star Award
  • Tourism & Visitor Management Award sponsored by GLM
  • Working with Communities Award sponsored by Hampden & Co

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SLE chief executive Sarah-Jane Laing with one of the Helping it Happen awards 2023

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Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) is a membership organisation for landowners, rural businesses and rural professionals. At SLE we promote the wide range of benefits land-based businesses provide: tourist attractions, leisure facilities and landscapes enjoyed by the public, as well as, housing, employment, tourism & enterprise and farming opportunities. For more information, visit or follow us on twitter @ScotLandEstates.

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