On 12 February, at the Field Studies Council Centre in Millport, 18 year old Mhairi McCann from Inverclyde was presented with the David Robertson Youth Award from the 2017 UK Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing.
FSC Millport provided an excellent venue for the presentation with its fascinating history as a marine research station, and current work as a field centre on the shore of the Isle of Cumbrae. The presentation took place in the Robertson building which is named after the founder of Millport, Scottish naturalist David Roberston, who also gives his name to the NBN Youth Award. Mhairi had been unable to attend the Awards’ ceremony in Cardiff in November, so the location of the presentation couldn’t have been more apt!
Centre Manager of FSC Millport Alex MacFie said, “As a charity, FSC is passionate about inspiring the next generation about the natural world, so we were delighted to meet Mhairi and find out how she is working to engage more young people. Following the presentation she also enjoyed a tour of our on-site Robertson Museum.”
Mhairi McCann said, “Contributing to new scientific discoveries through undertaking novel research is very exciting- especially for a secondary school pupil! I am very passionate about the environment and biological recording is one way of helping us to understand more about it. I am particularly interested in the human impact on nature and believe that the more we know about nature, the better placed we are to help take measures to protect it. My work as part of ReRoute: Scotland’s Youth Biodiversity Panel (a group of 15 young volunteers from across Scotland) helps advise organisations and the Scottish Government on how best to engage young people in nature. I believe the engagement of young people in nature is vital in ensuring our current protection and enhancement of the natural environment is sustainable for years to come.”
Mhairi was presented with a framed certificate and voucher from this Award category’s sponsor, Opticron.
UK Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing
These annual awards, which started in 2015, have been developed by the National Biodiversity Network, the National Forum for Biological Recording and the Biological Records Centre. Their intention is to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions made to biological recording by adults and young people, which is helping to improve our understanding of the UK’s wildlife.