Scottish Canals receives ‘pandtastic’ Earth Hour award

There were celebrations in the shadow of The Falkirk Wheel today (Tuesday 21st 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, accompanied by Earth Hour Officer Scott Blance, paid a visit to The Falkirk Wheel to present the award to Dr Olivia Lassiere, Heritage and Environment Manager at Scottish Canals.

As part of its support of the annual event, Scottish Canals turns off the lights illuminating the internationally-renowned landmarks The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies, helping to put a spotlight on the issues facing the planet and reminding us that, together, we have the power to make change happen. This year, Earth Hour will take place between 20:30 and 21:30 on Saturday the 25th of March.

Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland, said:  “I’m absolutely delighted to be able to recognise Scottish Canals for all their efforts in support of our annual Earth Hour initiative. This award clearly demonstrates the massive commitment of the organisation to tackling climate change and protecting our brilliant planet. We look forward to working with Scottish Canals again for Earth Hour 2017.’

Since 2007, WWF’s Earth Hour’s unique display of darkness has become a global phenomenon with hundreds of millions of individuals coming together each year. In 2016, a record-breaking 178 countries and some of world’s most famous buildings including Edinburgh Castle, The Kelpies, Big Ben, Hong Kong’s skyline and the Sydney Harbour Bridge joined the global celebration.

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, Heritage and Environment Manager at Scottish Canals

Dr. Olivia Lassiere, Heritage and Environment Manager at Scottish Canals, continues:  “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.”

Falkirk Community Trust, who manage The Helix, are also marking this year’s Earth Hour with a unique event that will see visitors being led in fitness classes in front of The Kelpies – with the aim of producing enough energy to light the sculptures for one hour! Find out more at www.thehelix.co.uk.

Everyone can join the celebration for WWF’s Earth Hour on Saturday 25 March 2017. For more information and to sign up please visit www.wwfscotland.org.uk/earthhour.

Notes to Editors

The Falkirk Wheel, connecting the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, is the world’s only rotating boat lift and one of Scotland’s busiest tourist attractions, welcoming over 500,000 visitors every year. The colossal Kelpies are the world’s largest pair of equine sculptures and stand guard over the new section of the historic Forth & Clyde Canal. More than 2.5 million people have stood in the shadow of the sculptures since their unveiling in 2014. They are the centrepieces of The Helix project, driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals and supported by the Big Lottery Fund. The Helix is managed by Falkirk Community Trust.

Scottish Canals Environment Strategy can be viewed at www.scottishcanals.co.uk/corporate/about-us/your-environment-and-heritage/environment-strategy/

Earth Hour, organised by WWF, started in Sydney in 2007.  Last year a record 178 countries and territories took part in the world’s biggest Earth Hour yet.  Edinburgh Castle, the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, South Africa’s Table Mountain, The Acropolis in Athens, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, and the Las Vegas Strip were just a few of the world-famous landmarks that joined in.

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 wwfscotland.org.uk.

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

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 www.ScottishCanals.co.uk 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

The Helix is being driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals. The project has been awarded £25 million by the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks programme. The Helix is managed by Falkirk Community Trust.  More at www.thehelix.co.uk

The Helix project has transformed 350 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a vibrant new parkland and visitor attraction. The Kelpies, 30-metre-tall horse head sculptures inspired by the role of the heavy horse in the history of the canals, form the centrepiece of the project

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