BUSINESSES in Girvan and Dalmellington have received a UNESCO Biosphere business sustainability certificate.

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere's initiative to promote sustainable enterprise continues to grow its network across southwest Scotland, with five new awards of the Biosphere Certification Mark announced in March.

Launched in 2018, the certification mark scheme recognises exemplary work towards sustainability in business.

It's also aimed at spreading the word to customers and those visiting the area that local businesses are supporting their local communities, investing in the local economy, and working towards key climate and environmental goals.

Those achieving certification in the latest round of awards are Little Tahall Farm in the Machars, The Biking Explorers in Girvan, Craigengillan Estate at Dalmellington, Lean Bean Café at Thornhill, and the Glentrool Hive.

Marie McNulty, the Biosphere's business development lead, said: "Since the certification Mark was introduced we have made nearly 50awards to independent businesses, ranging from sole traders in the creative arts to large scale, land-based enterprises.

"It's a really special network which we're able to provide with unique opportunities for collaboration, in particular through creating bookable Biosphere Experiences and in destination marketing such as Scotland's UNESCO Trail.

"Sustainability is a story that more and more people want to hear and it's our privilege to give our local businesses a much bigger platform and connect them with UNESCO's global brand."

All now have the right to brand their products and services with the Biosphere's distinctive certification mark logo, featuring the sundew a small yet resilient plant that is highly valued as an indicator of environmental wellbeing.