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Not only was Robin Hood a Yorkshire man, but the region can boast its own magical – and now prize winning - Sherwood Forest!
A band of brothers from Selby have won this year’s prestigious John Boddy Rose Bowl for their efforts to create 45 hectares (112 acres) of pristine woodland on farmland at Thorpe Willoughby, much of it accessible to the public.
The prize is awarded by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and adjudicated by the Forestry Commission and The Royal Forestry Society.
Judges saluted farmers David, John and Kevin Sherwood, of KP Sherwood and Sons Ltd, for their outstanding husbandry of the new woods, which not surprisingly they have dubbed 'Sherwood Forest'.
In total nearly 40,000 trees have taken root over the past seven years, giving wildlife like barn owls, birds and insects a major lift.
Vince Carter, from the Forestry Commission, explained:
“Getting a new woodland established can be a tricky job, but here the trees are flourishing. The scheme has had a positive impact on local people and wildlife and the brothers deserve huge credit. This is one of the biggest planting projects we have grant-aided on a Yorkshire farm and with the birds singing and animals and plants thriving it’s a heart-warming place to visit.”
The Forestry Commission has invested £96,000 in the scheme, including grants to provide community access. Trees cover just 4.3% of the Selby district – well below the national average of 9% - so the family venture assumes even greater importance to the wider environment. Five woodland blocks make up the new Sherwood Forest, planted with trees like oak, cherry, ash and rowan, and also including open spaces to expand habitats. David Sherwood added:
“When the new Selby Bypass was built it split our land in two, which made access more difficult. We looked at our options and planting trees seemed the best way forward. These are the first woodlands on our 132 hectares (330 acres) of farmland. The trees have grown really well and folk have warmed to the woods in the areas where we've installed footpaths and benches. One day we’d like to manage the woods to produce some timber, adding another good reason for taking a long-term view.”
The brothers will receive their award at the Great Yorkshire Show on Wednesday 13 July.
To find out more about Forestry Commission planting and woodland management grants call 01904 382300, or visit www.forestry.gov.uk/YorkshireandtheHumber
Notes to editor
- KP Sherwood and Sons Ltd run two farms. About 100 acres is given over to arable crops and they also have a horse livery business.
- The Great Yorkshire Show is the nation's largest annual country and farming event attracting more than 125,000 visitors over the three days. Dates for this year's event are 12 to 14 July. For more information please see www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk
- The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.
Media calls to Richard Darn on 0113 341 3178. Mobile 0775 367 0038.