People across the Borders and beyond are being urged to share their stories of the work done by local estates and land-based businesses to help their surrounding communities flourish, as nominations for the 2019 Helping It Happen Awards get underway.

Following two successful years, organiser Scottish Land & Estates has declared the Helping It Happen Awards 2019 open for business. The national Awards, which aim to recognise the role of estates, farms and rural businesses in enabling and supporting success in rural areas helping rural Scotland thrive, will once again be sponsored by The MacRobert Trust.

In 2018, the Borders saw two rural businesses recognised for their success, with Philiphaugh Estate winning the Enhancing our Environment Award and Hirsel Estate winning the Education Award for their work to connect children to where their food comes from.

To celebrate the launch of the 2019 awards, David Johnstone, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, visited Philiphaugh Estate near Selkirk. Philiphaugh Estate won the 2018 Enhancing Our Environment Award, in conjunction with Tweed Forum, for their peatland restoration project which took place at Dryhope Farm on the estate; linking upland peatland restoration with the salmon fishing on the River Tweed – from catchment to catching fish!

David Johnstone said:

“The Borders is a hotbed of innovation, conservation and passion and so it seemed right to come here to launch the 2019 Helping it Happen Awards.

“We want to highlight and celebrate the significant positive contribution land-based businesses make in rural areas throughout rural Scotland – in particular, the ways in which they add value to support the local economy and the environment for the wider benefit of they provide environmental benefits for the wider community. We’re were incredibly pleased proud with the success of 2017 and 2018 awards of the success of the awards over the past 2 years, and look forward to recognising and rewarding even more worthy businesses this year.

“We urge people up and down the country to submit their entries for this year’s awards – the quality of entries last year was exceptional, and we are looking forward to receiving this year’s crop of stories. I am sure the judges will have a tough task in narrowing down the shortlist once entries close in July this year.”

Luke Comins, Director of Tweed Forum said:

“Over the years we have worked with the Estate on a number of projects that have helped preserve the heritage, increase access for the local community and boost tourism including the Salmon Viewing Centre, Philiphaugh waterwheel, Dryhope Tower and riverside walks.

“Winning the Helping it Happen Award last year for our peatland restoration was a great bonus and a real credit to the forward-thinking management of the Estate.

“I would encourage rural businesses across the country to enter the Helping it Happen Awards. It’s my view that a shortlisting or a win can be great not only for reputation and recognition but also for the enormously positive feeling of teams being rewarded for their hard work.”

To nominate, people are being asked to share how their local estate, farm or rural business has made a positive contribution to their area. Entries can be submitted via Scottish Land & Estates’ website – – before the closing date of 8th July 2019.

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