You’ll likely be aware of the more public face of the RSPB, such as Date With Natures, campaigns and our wonderful network of nature reserves. What you may not know is that behind the scenes, all across the world, RSPB works in partnership with hundreds of organsations.  We sit on boards, project teams, delivery groups and more. We cover everything from community mental health projects to steering international marine policy.  One group we’re proud to be  involved with here is the Shetland Environment Group, based with Shetland Amenity Trust.  The Group recently hosted the 24th Shetland Environment Awards.

I sometimes feel a bit downhearted with the way we humans treat the planet, but the Awards gladden my spirits.  The Shetland community is quite small in size, but there are many folk committed to making the islands better.  Here are the 2012 winners!

From left to right, Julie Thomson &  Cheryl Jamieson - Gardiesfauld Youth Hostel; George Sutherland - presenter of the awards; Beth Gerrard – Sandgarth Tree Project;  Rick Nickerson – on behalf of all Voar Redd Up Volunteers; and Cecilia James who won an award for her marathon litter pick.  You can read more about this years awards here.

Congratulations to everyone.

It is timely to remind you that there is a call for entries for the Nature Of Scotland Awards 2013.  Now in its 2nd year, these awards wish to recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievements in Scottish nature conservation.  Do you know a species champion?  Is there a politician that has gone that extra mile? Has your youth group been working on a wildlife habitat?  Whilst your tucking into mulled wine and mince pies over Christmas, why not mull over who might be suitable nominees.  Closing date is 15th March 2013.

On behalf of the RSPB staff and volunteers in Shetland, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!