MCS and Glenmorangie recognised for project to restore native European oysters to the Dornoch Firth

By: Clare Fischer
Date posted: 27 November 2017

The Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP), a partnership between MCS, Scottish distillery Glenmorangie and Heriot-Watt University has been recognised at the Nature of Scotland Awards 2017.

“We look forward to collaborating on the next crucial stages of helping return native oyster reefs to the Firth and further engaging the local community in the exciting DEEP project.”

Calum Duncan,
MCS Head of Conservation, Scotland

The project is a groundbreaking initiative to restore native European oysters to the Dornoch Firth – on the shores of which the distillery located - to enhance biodiversity and work in tandem with Glenmorangie’s new Anaerobic Digestion plant which is purifies 95% of the waste water that the Distillery releases into the Firth, with the remaining 5% of the organic waste naturally cleaned by the oysters.

The partnership won the Corporate Award at this years RSPB Scotland organised awards. Calum Duncan, MCS Head of Conservation, said “It is a great privilege for MCS to be partners of The Glenmorangie Company and Dr Bill Sanderson at Heriot-Watt University, together sharing a vision for a Dornoch Firth that can be even richer in marine life than it is today. On behalf of all staff, volunteers and supporters at MCS that have been involved in this ground-breaking project, I am therefore delighted that DEEP won in the Corporate category at Nature of Scotland Awards 2017 last week. We look forward to collaborating on the next crucial stages of helping return native oyster reefs to the Firth and further engaging the local community in the exciting DEEP project.”

Dr Peter Nelson, Operations Director at The Glenmorangie Company, said: “We’re delighted that our vision of protecting and sustaining the fragile beauty of Glenmorangie’s Highland surroundings has been celebrated by those who champion the environment. We hope these awards will further raise the profile of DEEP, as we, and our partners, dedicate efforts to the next stage in this pioneering project – building an established oyster reef in the Dornoch Firth within five years.”

But although this was the only award that MCS actually won – we had a hand in a number of other awards and our work was highlighted in many of the speeches.

Our colleagues at FIDRA scooped the Marine Conservation for The Great Nurdle Hunt. We’ve worked closely with FIDRA to highlight the issues of nurdles on beaches over the past couple of years.

PwC, who have been supporting MCS through our Corporate Beach Cleans, were also up for the Corporate Award for their Environmental Volunteering Programme. We were delighted to see them grab a Highly Commended Award in the category.

Cramond Primary School was nominated by MCS Scotland Conservation Officer, Catherine Gemmell, for the Youth and Education Award for their Beach to Parliament work with MCS over the last year. They received a Highly Commended Award for the project.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP who attended the awards said: “The energy and enthusiasm of the nominees in all the categories really shone through. I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Nature of Scotland’s Awards and thank everyone who is giving their time to the conservation of Scotland’s natural environment.”

Fiona Hyslop also said the case has been made for Deposit Return Systems and recognised the work by the Have You Got The Bottle? Coalition, of which MCS has played a leading role. The First Minister announced in September that Scotland will be developing and implementing a Deposit Return System.

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