SCOTLAND’S nature agency has called on members of the public to share photographs of the nation’s seas, rivers, lochs and canals to feature in a calendar marking Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said that while plans to celebrate the themed year have been affected by the coronavirus restrictions, thousands of people have still been going outdoors and enjoying nature close to home.

Cathy Tilbrook, SNH’s Head of Sustainable Coasts and Seas, said: “During lockdown restrictions, some of us were still able to enjoy local beaches, lochs and waterways on our doorstep, and many people reported finding solace in the natural world.

“Perhaps you discovered a riverside walk right on your doorstep or you really missed a favourite beach or loch further afield, and have enjoyed poring over old photos of past visits.

“We want to celebrate Scotland’s coastlines and waterways, their landscapes

and wildlife, with your special images - and this calendar will do just that.”

The SNH calendar will be released for 2021, after the Year of Coasts and Waters was extended.

During 2022, the Year of Scotland’s Stories (YSS) will carry on the themed year programme, showcasing the nation’s rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.

The calendar will bridge the two themes.

Ms Tilbrook added: “In anticipation of YSS we want to hear the stories behind the lens.

"Photos could feature a beach with fond childhood memories or a river where a magical nature moment was captured; it can be anything - tell us your special memory or story of that place.”

Photographs do not necessarily have to be taken during lockdown or even during 2020, however they must feature Scotland’s coasts or waters and have a brief story or memory submitted alongside.

Members of the public can submit up to 10 images in landscape format, by the deadline of October 1.

The overall winner’s image will feature on the front page of SNH’s 2021

calendar and the runners up will have their photograph featured on a seasonally relevant month of the year.

Accompanying stories will feature briefly on the calendar, with full versions displayed on SNH’s website.

The winner and all runners up will receive copies of the printed calendar.

The events programme that was designed to celebrate the year is currently subject to cancellation and postponement in line with government advice in relation to Covid-19.

Following input and feedback from the tourism and events industry, there has been strong support and a commitment from Scottish Government to rollover the celebratory year into 2021.

Plans to rebrand Scotland’s national nature agency, SNH, to “NatureScot” on May 1 2020, were put on hold due to the pandemic and will now take effect from August 24 this year.