News from the districts – November 20, 2020

Environmental sculpture beside the nature trail at Taynish National Nature Reserve, May 2015. Photo: Lorne Gill/SNH

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Cowal and Bute

Six groups have been acknowledged by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful for their efforts.

Keep Scotland Beautiful runs two community environmental improvement programmes each year – the competitive Beautiful Scotland campaign and the It’s Your Neighbourhood initiative.

A total of 197 groups have been issued with certificates of recognition for the work volunteers managed to carry out to brighten up and pull their neighbourhoods together during the coronavirus pandemic.

The groups recognised under the It’s Your Neighbourhood initiative include Cowal KSB Network – Route 489, Blairmore and Strachur Memorial Hall.

Beautiful Scotland certificates were awarded to Inspiring Innellan and Scenic Sandbank.

On the Isle of Bute, Bute Wombles received an It’s Your Neighbourhood certificate while Bute in Bloom was recognised under Beautiful Scotland.

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful said: ‘We have been amazed by the desire of communities, volunteers and local authorities to stay connected, motivated and inspired by each other, all with a steadfast determination to do things to make a difference, even if this had to be done differently this year.

‘I’d like to thank all the groups in Argyll and Bute for the efforts they have made to keep Scotland beautiful this year.’

Check out the Keep Scotland Beautiful website to join the network in 2021.


Time is short for Argyll shoppers to donate to the annual Tesco Food Collection to support the Trussell Trust and FareShare as they help people in crisis amid the Covid-19 pandemic this Christmas.

This year’s collection is more vital than ever as food banks and community groups face an unprecedented need for supplies.

The collection launched in Tesco Express stores on November 16 and in large stores from November 19. Customers have until the evening of Saturday November 21 to donate long-life food in store.

Last year generous shoppers donated more than  three million meals-worth of food during the collection. Tesco will once again be topping up the value of donations with an additional 20 per cent in cash.


Stunning videos featuring award-winning compositions inspired by Scotland’s national nature reserves have being released online by NatureScot and Highland arts organisation Fèis Rois.

The first competition of its kind in Scotland encouraged entrants to compose music inspired by the coasts and waters of Scotland’s beautiful nature reserves, as part of the celebrations for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

The 11 music videos are designed to help connect people to nature through music.

The competition, In Tune With Nature/Air Ghleus le Nàdar, was judged by a panel of well-known faces from the Scottish music industry, including Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis; BBC broadcaster and journalist Vic Galloway; Scottish Music Centre director Gill Maxwell; and singer-songwriter Karine Polwart. Compositions entered ranged from classical to pop with songs written in Gaelic, Scots, Shetland dialect and English.

The winners each received a £500 prize and, when Covid-19 restrictions were eased, had the opportunity to visit the nature reserve that inspired their music with filmmaker Graeme Roger from Wildbird.

Among the sites involved was Taynish National Nature Reserve near Tayvallich, where the joint winners were fiddler and smallpipe maker Malin Lewis from Skye and musical duo Roo Geddes from Glasgow and Neil Sutcliffe of Stirling.

To watch the In Tune With Nature films, visit the NatureScot website and click on ‘In Tune With Nature‘.


Environmental sculpture beside the nature trail at the beautiful Taynish National Nature Reserve. Photo: Lorne Gill/SNH