Ayrshire projects have been nominated for awards celebrating people and groups going above and beyond to protect the natural world and wildlife.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and NatureScot announced the shortlisted entrants in their Nature of Scotland Awards last week.

Three projects in North Ayrshire are shortlisted. They are FSC Millport, for their best practice environmental sustainability in a residential centre project, Barrmill Conservation Group (BCG) and the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST).

Fiona Fisher, outdoor community development worker and volunteer at BCG, said: “Our small team of volunteers have achieved a lot over the last 10 years and have made such an improvement to the community and to the local biodiversity.

“For such a small village we have a big reputation, of which we are very proud. We have no intention of slowing down any time soon and have many more exciting plans for the future.”

Jenny Stark, outreach and communications manager at COAST, said: “I speak on behalf of the entire COAST family when I say it is an honour to be shortlisted for the Coasts and Waters Category of the Nature of Scotland Awards this year.

“Over the last few years COAST have worked hard to take the next step in our journey, by opening our Marine Visitor Centre whilst continuing to deliver education and outreach, and conduct independent research to promote marine conservation.

“Thank you for shortlisting us, and good luck to the other nominees.”

The Nature of Scotland Awards, now in their ninth year, usually host a shortlisting event at the Scottish Parliament. This year, however, the Awards, turned to Twitter and Facebook to announce the shortlisted people and projects.

Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland and chair of the judging panel, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to every nomination and massive congratulations to those who have been shortlisted. This has been a uniquely challenging year for many and never has it felt more important to understand our interdependency with the natural world. I wish everyone the best of luck and look forward to the online awards ceremony which will offer an opportunity for more of us than ever before to join in the celebrations.”

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “We’re so pleased to be co-sponsoring the Nature of Scotland Awards again this year, it is such a great opportunity to recognise those people in Scotland going above and beyond for our unique and precious environments.

“This year is set to be very different to previous Awards, but there are some fantastic projects shortlisted and I’d like to congratulate everyone who is making a difference for nature. We’re proud to be sponsoring the NatureScot Business Award again this year, celebrating businesses large and small who put the natural world at the heart of their work.”

The events ceremony will also be held online this year, hosted virtually by Make it Edinburgh Live on November 25.