Scottish Canals celebrates ‘pandtastic’ Earth Hour award

There were celebrations in the shadow of The Falkirk Wheel today (15th March), as WWF Scotland presented Scottish Canals with the Earth Hour Public Body Runner-Up Award.

The award recognises the organisation’s contribution to the global WWF Earth Hour movement and its efforts in tackling climate change. The WWF panda paid a visit to the world’s only rotating boat lift to present the award to Dr Olivia Lassiere, Scottish Canals’ Environment Manager, and Shaun Niven, Operations Manager at The Falkirk Wheel.

As part of its support of the annual event, Scottish Canals will join millions of people from 187 countries around the world in switching off their lights for one hour on Saturday 24th March at 8.30pm. The canal custodians will turn off the lights illuminating the internationally-renowned landmarks The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies, helping to shine a spotlight on the issues facing the planet and reminding us that, together, we have the power to make change happen.

Since 2007, WWF’s Earth Hour’s unique display of darkness has become a global phenomenon. This year, as iconic landmarks, organisations and businesses switch off in solidarity, the spotlight turns to the 1 in 6 species at risk of extinction from climate change. As recent media such as BBC’s Blue Planet raises public awareness about the plight of species suffering from rapidly changing climates, for Earth Hour 2018 WWF is asking people to make a promise for their planet to live more sustainably.

We are delighted to receive this award, and proud to take part in WWF’s Earth Hour by switching off the lights of two of Scotland’s engineering icons – The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies. It’s an inspiring event, highlighting that everyone can make a difference to help protect our planet and that we all have a key role to play.

Dr. Olivia Lassiere, Environment Manager at Scottish Canals

“Caring for Scotland’s 137-mile-long canal network presents Scottish Canals with a number of unique environmental opportunities and challenges, and we recently launched a comprehensive environment strategy which outlines our current and ongoing commitment to environmental management.  This will play a key role in working towards the Scottish canals acting as catalysts for sustainable development in communities across the nation.”

Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: “We’re delighted that Scottish Canals is taking part in WWF’s Earth Hour. It’s an opportunity for us all to demonstrate in a simple way that we care about our planet and the impact climate change is having on people and nature across the world. With 1 in 6 of the world’s species at risk of extinction from climate change, there has never been a more important time to call for action.”

Everyone can join the celebration for WWF’s Earth Hour on Saturday 24th March 2018. For more information and to sign up please visit

Scottish Canals’ Environment Strategy can be viewed at


Notes to Editors

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour, organised by WWF, started in Sydney in 2007.  A decade on, last year saw hundreds of millions of individuals from a record 187 countries and territories take part in the world’s biggest Earth Hour yet. In Scotland alone, 165 national and local landmarks such as The Kelpies, Edinburgh Castle and The Falkirk Wheel went dark, joining over 3,000 others around the globe. Scotland was the first country on record to gain support from all local authorities, continuing to make its mark on the international Earth Hour map.

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive.  Find out more about our work, past and present at

Earth Hour in Scotland is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and the Scottish Government.

About Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel. See or follow @ScottishCanals for more information

The Forth & Clyde, Union and  Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands, together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness

Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles

The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22 million visitations per year

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