South Scotland Golden Eagle Project wins Prestigious Award

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The groundbreaking South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, which is boosting the low population of golden eagles in the south of Scotland, has been awarded the prestigious Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Tony Bradshaw Award for Outstanding Best Practice.


Recognising best practice in the industry, the esteemed CIEEM award is only presented to “exceptional projects that set an overall impressively high standard”. The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project was considered for the award as winner of the institute’s Best Practice in Stakeholder Engagement title.


Announcing the award, Jason Reeves, Head of Policy at CIEEM said: “We are thrilled to announce that the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project is this year’s very worthy recipient of the CIEEM’s Tony Bradshaw Award for Outstanding Achievement.
“Our vision at CIEEM is to create a healthy natural environment for the benefit of current and future generations, and The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project is a fantastic example of this. Through exceptional stakeholder engagement and partnership working, the project has demonstrated how we can all make a difference by working together to create a world rich in biodiversity for the benefit of us all – now and in the future.”


Speaking of the project’s win, Michael Clark, Chair of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project Board, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Project has been awarded the prestigious Tony Bradshaw Award for Outstanding Achievement. This is testament to the hard work of our pioneering project team and the support of all our partners – from ecologists, raptor experts, vets, funders, landowners and land managers to 14,000 plus community volunteers and special project participants.
“From taking the local population of golden eagles to the highest number recorded here since the early 19th century to creating the UK’s first Golden Eagle Town and Festival in Moffat and opening the first mainland Eagle Information Point in Philiphaugh, the work of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project team really is exemplary and has become a beacon for wider support for sustainable conservation management in rural communities.”


Francesca Osowska, NatureScot’s Chief Executive, added: “The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project is a very deserving winner of the Tony Bradshaw Award. NatureScot’s role is to protect and restore nature across Scotland. So we’re passionate about returning golden eagles, a vital part of Scotland’s wildlife, to places where they used to thrive. This ground-breaking project has accomplished so much over just a few years, bringing a viable population of golden eagles back to south Scotland and inspiring other similar initiatives around the world. It’s wonderful to see a success like this. This is brilliant partnership working, and a great support for the local green economy.”


The National Lottery Heritage Fund provided key funding for the project. Heritage Fund Director for Scotland Caroline Clark said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we were able to support this project with a £1.5m grant. We continue to work closely with projects that we fund so our team have seen first-hand what a success this partnership is proving to be, and how much communities across the South of Scotland have embraced and supported the new arrivals.”
“It is fantastic that they have been presented with the Tony Bradshaw Award, well deserved recognition of the work being done by everyone involved in The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project to protect Scotland’s outstanding wildlife and landscapes.”


Earlier this year it was revealed that the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project was the first project in the UK to successfully translocate free-flying young golden eagles (aged between 6 months and 3 years) to boost a low population of this iconic bird. These new additions brought the total number of golden eagles in the south of Scotland to around 33 – the highest number recorded here in the last three centuries. The released eagles have all settled in south of Scotland, with frequent sightings of interactions including with other native eagles.


Project partners RSPB Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates, Scottish Forestry, NatureScot and the Southern Uplands Partnership, worked on the project together for more than 11 years before releasing the first eagle chicks in 2018.  Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, project partners and the Scottish Government, the initiative is a key project under ‘Scotland’s Biodiversity. A Route Map to 2020’, supporting the Government’s ‘2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity’.


The second Moffat Eagle Festival takes place from 16 to 18 September 2022.


For the latest project and festival news, or to donate to the charity initiative, visit: