A Cairngorms project has won a UK National Parks Volunteer Award.
Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (RIC) is a partnership project involving RSPB Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), Buglife, Butterfly Conservation and Scottish Natural Heritage.
It works to conserve six rare and poorly understood insect species in the National Park with a team of volunteers.
The project carries out surveys to locate the species and then works with landowners to promote land management techniques that enable them to thrive and spread.
The initiative was jointly nominated by Cairngorms LEADER, primary funders of the project, and CNPA, one of the partners. The award was presented recently at the Kendal Mountain Festival.
Sarah Henshall, Cairngorms nature officer at the CNPA, said: “One of the most incredible things about this project is its ability to reach and bring together such a wide variety of industries and individuals, and stir them into action.
“The result is a group of committed people working together to conserve essential habitats for these threatened species and thousands of others.”
Gabrielle Flinn, RIC project officer, added: “We are delighted and grateful to have our efforts recognised by this award and our nominators.
“We really appreciate the support and hope to continue to inspire people across the National Park to stand up for nature at a time when it has never been more crucial.”
Mike Woolvin, CNPA volunteer co-ordinator, said: “Volunteers get involved across the Cairngorms National Park in a huge variety of ways with lots of different groups and organisations. They make a really significant difference to conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area among many other things. It is wonderful to see the RIC project recognised in this way after all the time, energy and enthusiasm shared by the volunteers.