Green project shortlisted for three top awards

A leading Argyll and Bute green initiative has been nominated for three top awards across the UK, including one of Scotland’s most prestigious environmental awards.

The ambitious project to create 30-hectares of native woodland in Lochgilphead has been shortlisted for three different awards across the UK, including at this year’s RSPB Nature Scotland Awards, the Scottish Green Energy Awards, and the national Utility Week Awards. 

A partnership between Argyll and Bute Council, Scottish and Southern Electric Networks (SSEN) Transmission and Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT), the project is playing a key role in the drive to cut the region’s carbon emissions, increase native biodiversity and achieve net zero.

Native woodland species are being planted across council-owned land, located mostly around Kilmory, with 30 hectares being delivered through ACT’s compensatory planting agreement with SSEN Transmission as part of an upgrade to overhead lines connecting Inveraray and Lochgilphead.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Climate Change and Environment Services, Councillor Ross Moreland, said: “The Lochgilphead project epitomises the work we are doing to reduce carbon emissions, re-wild with native species and achieve net zero by collaborating with our key partners and community groups to create a climate friendly Argyll and Bute.

“Over the past six years, the council has been able to reduce its carbon emissions by over a third and the creation of this new woodland is another innovative step forward in helping us achieve our net zero target by 2045.

“Being shortlisted for these prestigious awards is fantastic recognition for the work we’re doing to reduce our carbon footprint, improve biodiversity and safeguard the environment for future generations.”

Ross Lilley, ACT Chairman said “We’re delighted to be able to work in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council and SSEN Transmission to help combat climate change and restore biodiversity whilst realising benefits for our communities.  The Kilmory planting complements ACT’s work on peatland and woodland restoration elsewhere in Argyll, and has been a great demonstration of what can be achieved through partnership working, and fantastic that this has been recognised by being included on these three award shortlists.”

Richard Baldwin, SSEN Transmission’s Head of Consents and Environment, said: “Argyll’s rainforests are a truly stunning and precious resource and we’re delighted to be playing a small part in helping ensure the long-term sustainability of this nationally significant natural asset thanks to our partnership with ACT Argyll and Argyll and Bute Council.

“We’re thrilled that the initiative is shortlisted at these three prestigious awards and look forward to building on this initial planting project with ACT as we continue to deliver a network for net zero emissions across the north of Scotland.”

The RSPB Nature Scotland Awards recognise the very best in Scottish nature conservation and celebrate the people, projects, groups and organisations working to protect Scotland’s natural heritage. The ceremony will take place on Thursday 17 November.

Hosted by Scottish Renewables, The Scottish Green Energy Awards is a celebration of the inspirational organisations, people and projects going above and beyond to make a real difference to the health, wealth and wellbeing of Scotland.   The project with ACT Argyll, Argyll and Bute Council and SSEN Transmission is up for the Sustainable Development Award. 

The Utility Week Awards celebrate the very best in utilities across the UK, with the partnership up for the Community Investor Award. 

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