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NEWS RELEASE No: 162312 APRIL 2014

Alice Holt Forest Ranger winners revealed

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The Forestry Commission and TV presenter Helen Skelton have today announced who the two lucky winners are of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Ranger competition, launched in January.

Children from years 5 – 11 (ages 9 to 16) in the south of England were invited to explain what it is they love about trees and their local woodlands to win the opportunity to shadow a Forest Ranger at Alice Holt Forest for the day. 

Forest Rangers play an important role protecting and improving more than 250,000 hectares of woodland across England. The competition was designed to provide an insight into the ranger role, and to encourage future generations into the sector. 

More than 150 creative and imaginative entries were received by the Forestry Commission and over the past two weeks the Forestry Commission has worked with Helen Skelton to choose just two winners. Following a tough decision making process, the winners are:

• James Cracknell - Primary School Category (Years 5 – 6)
• Amy Collier - Secondary School category (Years 7 – 11)
Both winning entries can be viewed on the Alice Holt website and Facebook page with a selection of other shortlisted entries: or

On choosing the final two winners, Helen Skelton said:

“It’s really encouraging to see so many superb entries, and real passion amongst young people for our forests. With such talent on display, choosing the winners was a challenge, so well done to all those that took part.  Both our winners really took the time to understand the subject matter and showed recognition for the important role our woodlands play to wildlife, for the economy and simply having fun.  Well done to them, and I hope we’re looking at two future Forestry Commission Forest Rangers!”

The winners will visit Alice Holt in early April to understand what it means to be a Forest Ranger for the Forestry Commission for a day. Along with creating new wildlife habitats, they’ll get an insight into how we protect and improve our woodlands and see what happens behind the scenes in our most loved woodlands.

Amy and James will also receive a £100 voucher for Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and a two night stay on one of 15 Camping in the Forest sites. All those who entered the competition will now be placed into a prize draw to win a free Alice Holt Family Discovery Pass for a year.

Ian Gambles, Forestry Commission Director for England explains:

”We’re delighted with our two winners and choosing them was a tough decision – so well done to them both. It has been fascinating to see so much passion and interest in our forests.  

“Over the last 95 years since the Forestry Commission was established we’ve seen woodland cover increase from 5 per cent to 13 per cent and today we manage over 2.5 million hectares of woodland.  Our woodlands and trees are critical not just to our economy and environment but to the very fabric of our society. Inspiring the next generation of forest rangers to be future guardians of our forests is essential to this.

“Our two lucky winners will get an insight into why being a Forest Ranger is so important, but also have a lot of fun doing it.”

Notes to editors:
1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with grants; tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on forestry policy. It manages more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of national forest land for public benefits such as sustainable timber production, public recreation, nature conservation, and rural and community development. For more information, visit

2. The Forestry Commission works with hundreds of schools in the district every year. For more information, visit
Media Contacts:

Simon Gill at Camargue PR, tel 01242 577277 or email
Libby Burke at the Forestry Commission, tel 02380 286832