After developing a passion for wildlife and the nature of the Scottish Highlands, Milly Revill Hayward, has been honoured nationally for her work with the Forsinard Flows in northern Scotland.  

While studying at university, Revill Hayward, became aware of the Flows to the Future project and jumped at the opportunity to attend the Flows to the Future Conference at Eden Court in Inverness in 2019.  

This celebration of the peatlands and the work of the project inspired her so much that on graduation she immediately took up a yearlong residential volunteering placement at RSPB Forsinard Flows, taking an active part in the restoration of the Flows and representing the RSPB at COP26 in Glasgow as a youth peatland advocate. 

The 24-year-old’s work has been recognised in a campaign championing the individuals and projects who work tirelessly to save the environment, with the help of National Lottery funding and players, who raise £30 million for good causes every week.  

To celebrate Revill Hayward's work educating others about the importance of the Forsinard Flows, Chris Packham, environmentalist, presenter and author, unveiled a striking piece of artwork at The Eden Project in Cornwall that celebrates Milly and her work. Artist Jody Thomas created the piece, a spray-painted portrait of Milly, created from CO2 absorbing paint, that has been painted onto a hexagonal canvas made from reusable materials, mirroring the famous domes and the world famous eco visitor attraction.

She said: "I'm really proud and it's really amazing to be thought of for this work.  

"There's so many people working behind the scenes as well so they work of the Forsinard team is just incredible.  

"The hours that go into what we're doing here is just amazing. You visit or volunteer here once and people come back again and again.  

"Once you spend time here you really come to appreciate and understanding how important it is and fall in love with the landscape.  

"Going forward we really want to try and engage the community more, not just the local community but to other peatland communities around the UK and across the world.”  

The restoration of Forsinard Flows is expected to take around 50 to 60 years to complete as part of a large-scale project.  It received £4.6 million of National Lottery funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

But Revill Hayward has acknowledged that the restoration is key to preserving the beauty of the area and its greatness after having grown up near the Flow Country.  

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She said: "You may think at first that that's all the Flow Country is, this area of blanket bog but then you also have big non-native conifer plantations that as we're doing the work here at Forsinard it's amazing to see.  

"One of the things I love the most about the Flow Country is that maybe at first it doesn't necessarily look like there's much going on there and it's then when you get closer there's suddenly so much there like the amazing bog pools and the patterns that they make.  

"It's just such a special place that's been underestimated so much in the past. And part of the Flows project is giving people that experience."  

The bog enthusiast developed a passion for the nature of the Scottish Highlands in her youth and cultivated her knowledge through studying Zoology at the University of Glasgow. And as a residential intern for the RSPB Forsinard Flows after her studies, Revill Hayward was invited to speak at COP26.  

She said: "It was all about getting more youth advocates for nature at COP26 and to give them a voice.  

"With peatlands finally being recognised they were really keen to have someone who loved Peatlands like I do and could talk to different people about them.  

"I took part in a few different panel discussions and tried to get people to see past the initial process of thinking there's not much going on and encouraging them to go see them themselves and why we need to protect and restore them.  

"They're misunderstood places so I'm keen to share the passion that I have for them.”  

Three additional digital portraits have been created by artist Yoniest Chun, depicting the stories of other individuals and projects who have achieved incredible things to help support the environment as part of The National Lottery’s People’s Portraits series. Also honoured with a portrait is Simon Myers from charity Gasworks Dock Partnership in London, Veronika Brannovic from Torfaen Local Nature Partnership in Wales and David Bolton from Fermanagh Beekeepers Association in Northern Ireland.