Dick Balharry

Dick Balharry Prize

The National Trust for Scotland Dick Balharry Prize

Dick Balharry was a land manager, naturalist and advocate both for conserving the environment of Scotland’s mountains and for persuading people to regard them as their own, both figuratively and politically. A turning point came when he visited the National Parks of the Midwest in the US and Canada in 1969: the experience fuelled a desire to drive change and promote the benefits and joys of Scotland’s natural heritage to a wider audience.

Dick’s working life saw him range from gamekeeper, stalker, ecologist and land manager eventually retiring from SNH as an area manager. In pursuit of his aim of connecting more people with nature, he chaired the John Muir Trust (2003-10) and was a council member of the National Trust for Scotland, serving as its interim chair in 2009-10. He was a trustee of the West Highland Coastal Trust, closely involved in outdoor environmental education for youngsters, president of the Ramblers Association Scotland and chair of the local access forum for the Cairngorms National Park.

Why have a prize?

Dick achieved a great deal in his life and undoubtedly benefited from his experience of travel and learning in his formative career. This prize enables students to benefit from that same opportunity. Dick has left a remarkable legacy already, in his family, the people he has mentored and influenced, the places he has nurtured, the forests he encouraged to grow and the organisations he has guided. The impact on the recipients of the prize and the outcomes which flow from it will add to and continue his legacy.

What is the prize?

It is an international travel bursary (A maximum contribution of £3,000. All direct costs are eligible.) to enable a student, or group of students, attending the Integrated Land Use Conference to continue their learning by exposure to new ideas, people and places.

How to apply?

There is a two stage process. Applications are invited from students aged 18 years or over registered to attend the ILUC. Students should submit an outline of their proposal (limited to 600 words) using the application form ensuring they cover the following;

  • About you
  • Your current learning – including extra-curricular
  • Your proposal – what you hope to do, what you hope to achieve, how you propose to share your experience, what impact you hope it will have on your future
  • How you will spend the bursary (a summary budget - be realistic and base estimates on research not guesses)

A panel will assess outline proposals and select a shortlist for interview.

What can I do?

Everyone is unique and we don't want to stifle creativity or limit opportunity so the world is your oyster. We expect the bursary will enable people to travel far and wide, cover basic living costs, conference fees, materials or specialist gear. However, what we are looking for are proposals that;

  • Demonstrate a clear link to existing learning,
  • Have an understanding of the desired impact and how that will benefit future learning or employment,
  • Are realistic and achievable.

Through this process we are looking for and want to encourage attributes and values that Dick personified;

  • Willingness to challenge established thinking and go the extra mile
  • Desire for opportunity, irrespective of academic or social standing
  • Enthusiasm for encouraging reasoned argument from independent minds
  • Searching for a vision that empowers those who live and work on the land to have ownership of and pride in their natural heritage
  • Ability to enthuse others with passion and pride

I’m interested – what do I do now?

Once you have registered for the ILUC 2018 you have until noon on 19th February to submit your outline proposal using the application form. Proposals should be emailed to sbrooks@nts.org.uk. If you have any questions you can contact Dr Euan Bowditch euan.bowditch.ic@uhi.ac.uk. You will be notified by 21st February if you have been shortlisted for interview. Interviews will take place in March prior to the conference and applicants will be asked to provide more detail on their proposals, including a risk assessment. The prize recipient will be announced at the ILUC and the winner will undertake their journey by the end of December that year.

There is a two stage process. Applications are invited from students aged 18 years or over registered to attend the ILUC. Students should submit an outline of their proposal (limited to 600 words) using the application form ensuring they cover the following;

  • About you
  • Your current learning – including extra-curricular
  • Your proposal – what you hope to do, what you hope to achieve, how you propose to share your experience, what impact you hope it will have on your future
  • How you will spend the bursary (a summary budget - be realistic and base estimates on research not guesses)

A panel will assess outline proposals and select a shortlist for interview.