Campbeltown consultant lands inaugural honour

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A former Campbeltown farmer has become the recipient of an award created by SAC Consulting – part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) – in memory of senior consultant Gavin Elrick.

The inaugural Elrick Prize, which will be presented annually, has been awarded to consultant Alex Pirie in recognition of his work to improve the sustainability of land use.

Alex, who is from a dairy farming background near Campbeltown, is already well regarded across the business and with many farming stakeholders.

Alex said: ‘I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be nominated for the first Elrick Prize.

‘It is a superb way to recognise Gavin’s outstanding contribution to the industry and the way in which he conducted himself.’

Alex was nominated by principal consultant Chloe McCulloch and seconded by regional development manager Raymond Crerar.

Chloe said: ‘The work Alex has done in supporting the Net Zero Arran group has been inspiring.

‘His ability to attract influential stakeholders and policy makers and explain the impact of the group will increase the opportunities for others to participate in this type of activity in future.

‘He should also be recognised for his work with the Agri Environment Climate Scheme.

‘He brings a genuine enthusiasm, coupled with creativity and significant skill and I am in no doubt there are sustainable management activities that are only happening today because Alex stepped forward to take on a really challenging job in designing and delivering a fundable application.’

Gavin Elrick was part of SAC Consulting’s Environment Team and helped Scottish agriculture become more sustainable by sharing his vast knowledge with farmers and crofters across the country.

His untimely death in November 2020 came as a shock to colleagues and the wider rural community.

Chloe added: ‘On a personal note, Gavin may have been employed by SRUC as a consultant but he was also an advisor of the old stamp.

‘He was motivated by supporting farmers, friends and colleagues, and his industry. I see similar qualities in Alex and therefore the nomination is truly fitting.’