Awards for ex­cel­lent en­vi­ron­men­tal work

Com­mu­nity part­ner­ship group hands out prizes

Stirling Observer - - STIRLINGSHIRE REMEMBERS - Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks

Two young con­ser­va­tion ‘war­riors’ and a Callander group have been hon­oured for their en­vi­ron­men­tal work.

They were pre­sented with awards when vol­un­teers came to­gether at an event held by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship at Three Vil­lages Hall, Ar­rochar.

It high­lighted the work of peo­ple rais­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness, pro­mot­ing con­ser­va­tion and mak­ing their com­mu­nity more sus­tain­able.

Awards were pre­sented in mem­ory of Celia Burn,who served on the part­ner­ship and Kil­maronock Com­mu­nity Trust, and Liz Evans, of Cor­monochan Wood­lands As­so­ci­a­tion, Lochgoil.

Both were renowned for their con­tri­bu­tion to rais­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment.

Named first in the Celia Burn com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists of the year cat­e­gory was the Scot­tish Wildlife Trust Callander Group.

They were de­scribed as an in­spi­ra­tional and unique com­mu­nity group do­ing out­stand­ing work in en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion and wildlife con­ser­va­tion.

This in­cluded or­gan­is­ing and fa­cil­i­tat­ing monthly pub­lic talks, fundrais­ing and hold­ing aware­ness­rais­ing events.

Mem­bers also car­ried out wildlife record­ing, orchid sur­veys and pa­trols to pro­tect toads, frogs and newts.

In joint first place in the Liz Evans young en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist of the year sec­tion was Ai­dan Cronin from Callander who re­cently com­pleted his ju­nior ranger’s cer­tifi­cate and sits on the Na­tional Park youth fo­rum.

He was nom­i­nated by the Callander Youth Project Trust for his en­thu­si­asm and vol­un­tary com­mit­ment to pro­tect­ing and en­hanc­ing the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment in the park.

He writes reg­u­lar wildlife and gar­den­ing ar­ti­cles for a com­mu­nity news­pa­per and has cre­ated a na­ture cor­ner in the CYP youth space. He also en­cour­ages other young peo­ple to be more en­vi­ron­men­tally aware through the wildlife events he or­gan­ises.”

The sec­ond re­cip­i­ent was Struan Burch, of Dunblane, who joined the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park vol­un­teer pro­gramme dur­ing a gap year. He cy­cles 68 miles, from his home to na­tional park head­quar­ters in Bal­loch and back, to take part in the scheme.

Struan has used his or­nitho­log­i­cal skills to sur­vey wet­land birds in Loch Lomond area, mon­i­tor the pop­u­la­tion of wa­ter voles in the Loch Ard for­est, ring barn owls as part of a mon­i­tor­ing pro­gramme, and re­pair moun­tain paths.

Part­ner­shp de­vel­op­ment man­ager Anne Sobey said: “All the projects Struan has been in­volved in have con­trib­uted and en­hanced the di­ver­sity of wildlife and recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties that sur­round our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“Struan is the first young per­son on the park’s vol­un­teer pro­gramme. The pro­gramme’s vol­un­teers have an aver­age age of 54, so join­ing it could have been daunt­ing for a young per­son. How­ever Struan’s en­thu­si­asm and com­mit­ment has seen him fit in and stand­out out as one of our wor­thy win­ners.”

On pa­trol Callander Wildlife Group mem­bers (left) Mar­i­lyn Moore, Mar­garet Warnock and John Sn­odin

Mak­ing a dif­fer­ence Struan Burch re­ceives his award from Di­nah McDon­ald, Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship

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