A PIONEERING environmental activist has been named the 59th Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year.
Maureen Potter, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday, was awarded the title in honour of her “single-minded dedication” to protecting and preserving Scotland’s natural spaces.
Champion fundraiser Mariya Javed, from Elderslie, was crowned Young SWOTY 2021 after winning the public vote.
Maureen, from East Kilbride, has been the driving force behind campaigning group Friends of Langlands Moss for 16 years, helping to raise awareness of the importance of vital peat bogs, which store carbon and help to cool the atmosphere. Her work has transformed Langlands Moss into a globally-important nature reserve at the forefront of the fight against climate change.
The retired schoolteacher is dedicated to educating people about conservation and wildlife and as well as spearheading a campaign to raise £100,000 for the reserve, Maureen has led awareness-raising campaigns which brought attention from leading eco organisations and politicians around the UK.
Maureen said: “I’m absolutely stunned. I just feel privileged to have been nominated and privileged to have led Friends of Langlands Moss for so many years.
“This is a real honour. When I first got the phone call to say I had been shortlisted, I thought it was a hoax. This award has been won by so many illustrious women, and I can’t believe I have now won it too.”
Glasgow Times Assistant Editor Stacey Mullen said: “Maureen was persuading people to pay attention to the importance of biodiversity and natural resources long before climate change was widely discussed.
“She has persevered, despite huge challenges, and has inspired people not just in her own community, but across Scotland and beyond. We are delighted she is our 2021 Scotswoman of the Year.”
Mariya is just 12 years old but has already made an impact in her own community and beyond.