They are some of Scotland’s most beautiful nature spots with stunning waterside views of lochs and seas.

Photographed and painted by many an admirer, the country’s nature reserves are now being captured in a different way – musically.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) launched a competition asking musicians of all genres to show their love of the natural world by writing songs inspired by the coasts and waters of the nature reserves.

Twelve winners have now been announced in the In Tune with Nature contest, with songs paying homage to sites such as the shoreline of the Solway Firth at Caerlaverock and Loch Maree at Beinn Eighe.

Broadcaster and musician Vic Galloway, who helped to judge the competition, said: “This has been an interesting and satisfying project to be involved in, and I was honoured to be asked to assess so many brilliant applicants. 

“Although it has been an epic task listening to almost 150 musical compositions, I’ve loved the sheer passion and diversity of music on offer – from classical to traditional, acoustic song writing to electronica, spoken word to rock, and way beyond. 

“For these stunning Scottish nature reserves, I think we have some worthy winners and some extraordinary music to accompany them.”

The 12 competition winners, and the nature reserves they were inspired by, are…


  • l Marie Fielding, Beinn Eighe, Ross-shire,
  • l Lucie Treacher, Caerlaverock, Dumfries,
  • l Charlie Grey, Creag Meagaidh, Lochaber,
  • l James Lindsay, Forvie, North East,
  • l Catriona Price, Isle of May, Firth of Forth,
  • l Beth Malcolm, Loch Leven, Perthshire,
  • l Sarah MacNeil, Noss, Shetland Islands,
  • l Iona Lane, Rum, Inner Hebrides,
  • l Ross Hull, Rum, Inner Hebrides,
  • l Malin Lewis, Taynish, Argyll,
  • l Roo Geddes and Neil Sutcliffe, Taynish, Argyll,
  • l Barney Bridges, Tentsmuir, Fife.
  • Organised in partnership with Fèis Rois, one of Scotland leading arts organisations, the competition was arranged to celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

The winners – who were also judged by Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, executive director of the Scottish Music Centre, Gill Maxwell, and singer-songwriter, Karine Polwart – each receive £500 and will be given the opportunity to create a film on the nature reserve that inspired their music.

Ms Polwart, said: “What a treat for the ears to hear such thoughtful, evocative new music, much of it written and recorded in extremely tight circumstances.

“Most of the winning artists are new on me, and I’m particularly delighted that they include so many young, emerging composers and songwriters from across the whole of Scotland, and beyond. 

“I’ve found the thoughtfulness of their responses to each of the reserves fascinating, and often deeply touching.  They evoke everything from craggy skylines and shifting dunes to delphinium spires and butterflies. 

“And as a collection, the 12 winning entries tell a mighty story about how rich our Scottish landscape is, and how well we need to tend it.”

Ben Ross, SNH’s head of nature reserves, added: “It’s wonderful to see the creativity and love of nature in the music submitted to us. Under the lockdown, participants had to experience the nature of our amazing national nature reserves virtually or think back to past visits. But this seems to have been no barrier, with so much to appreciate on our reserves. It’s hard not to be inspired by such beauty!”