A CHARLESTOWN woman is in the running for an award for her environmental education business.

Joanna McFarlane's Wild Planet Explorers has been shortlisted for the Youth and Education Award at RSPB Scotland’s 10th anniversary Nature of Scotland Awards.

She set up the business five years ago with the aim of inspiring more biologists and conservationists to care, explore and take action for nature in their local area, nationally and internationally.

Through her fun, interactive sessions for youngsters, Jo shares the amazing lives of animals and how children and families can help them in their daily lives, using props and imaginative play.

She has encouraged thousands of children across Scotland to complete the Wild Planet Explorer’s 3P Pledge Champion Award, which tackles the issue of sewage-related litter on our beaches and in our seas and the impact on wildlife.

"To be shortlisted alongside these amazing other projects is an honour," she said. "I have always tried to share the wonder of nature with children and, more importantly, that they can play an important role in helping protect nature against the global threats it faces, however old they are; whether that be through not littering and cleaning it up, building homes for nature, planting for pollinators, choosing sustainable products over others, reducing personal greenhouse gas emissions or raising awareness to others."

The awards, co-sponsored by NatureScot, will recognise the individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.

A total of 52 initiatives from across Scotland have been shortlisted across nine categories, and winners will be announced at a 'virtual' ceremony on November 17.