The Silver Thistle Award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to tourism over many years.

The Silver Thistle Award winner will continue to act as an ambassador for the Scottish tourism sector in general, and the Thistle Awards in particular, for years to come, as they have much to offer the industry.

Nominations are put forward by the Scottish Thistle Award Industry Panel members and VisitScotland Chair, Chief Executive and Executive Directors. Nominees must be an established figure within their field and the wider Scottish tourism industry. They should inspire excellence in others as well as encouraging and delivering stand-out work.

Responsible tourism is now at the heart of the Scottish Thistle Awards, supporting the aim for Scotland to be recognised globally as a leader in this field. The Silver Thistle Award recognises an individual who is pivotal in helping the tourism and events industry become the best it can be, having embraced best practice and leading by example in one or more of the four key areas of a low carbon economy, inclusivity, thriving communities and Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage.

David & Wilma Finlay | Silver Thistle Winner 2023

Wilma and David are partners in family farm Rainton Farm in Dumfries & Galloway – home of The Ethical Dairy, the first farm in Europe to successfully implement cow calf dairy farming at a commercially viable scale. They are widely respected as pioneers in ethical agricultural techniques. 

They have also created two exceptional food product ranges that have origins in the land of Galloway, as well as a successful visitor attraction – Cream O’ Galloway. The couple has recently retired and sold their successful ice-cream making business, which has opened under new ownership. 

They undertook ground-breaking work – and continue to do so – linking their business and the visitor economy with what would now be referred to as responsible tourism. They would be described as way ahead of their time in this respect. They have been a huge contribution to net zero through their collection of businesses by achieving carbon negative, implanting regenerative techniques and sharing best practice with others. They have also shown a real commitment to their local community – community renewable energy trials, employment and skills shared and developed. 

Wilma and David Finlay are regarded as true ambassadors for tourism in Scotland and continue to inspire and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

2023 Silver Thistle Award Winner 
David and Wilma Finlay, Cream o' Galloway


Scottish Thistle Awards
c/o VisitScotland
Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG
0131 472 2228


© Copyright Scottish Thistle Awards 2024