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Environment Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, presented awards to fourteen of Scotland’s finest woods and woodland projects at the Royal Highland Show today (Friday 25 June).
The special Silver Jubilee awards programme – organised by independent charity, Scotland’s Finest Woods – celebrated the contribution that woodlands can make to the environment and to the quality of life of people and communities across the country.
Ms Cunningham said:
“Scotland’s Finest Woods has an impressive record in recognising the exceptional quality of woodlands and woodland projects being carried out across Scotland – often to the betterment of our communities, to individuals and to our economy.
“Forestry has a positive impact on many aspects of our lives, our culture and our environment and, of course, as a key element of our efforts to combat climate change, it can have a hugely positive impact on our future.
“Promoting and encouraging effective and dynamic management of our woodlands is a great way of ensuring that our forest resource can meet the many demands made on it.
“The Finest Woods Awards celebrate the best of Scotland’s woodlands and the efforts of the many people whose hard work behind the scenes makes these woodlands such fantastic examples of good forestry practice.”
Peter Wilson, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, the charity which runs the Awards, said the judges had struck gold:
“People from across Scotland work hard to support their local communities and the environment and these Awards provide a way to recognise and reward their achievements and to identify exemplars for others to follow.
“There was a record 38 projects entered for the Awards this year and the quality of what is happening out there has simply bowled us over! The quality of this year’s entry was so high that the judges made fourteen awards and commendations in total – which is most likely a record in itself.
“And, as well as the annual Schools Award and Community Woodland Award, we this year decided to mark our Silver Jubilee with a special award - open to all previous winners of our silvicultural excellence and multi-purpose forestry awards - to find the ‘champion of champions’!
“Basically we struck gold this year!”
This year’s winners are:
Winner of the Tim Stead Trophy for Community Woodlands:
Forres Community Woodlands Trust for Sanquhar Woodlands, Forres, Moray
Judges’ view: the ‘gold standard for community woodlands’ with ‘an astonishing and professional approach’. More should be done to encourage others to visit and learn.
Winner of the Schools Award:
The Charleston Academy, Kinmylie, Inverness
Judges’ view: effective development of learning opportunities through a Forest School programme, rural skills training and conservation work all using woodlands in the school’s catchment area.
The Silver Jubilee Competition:
Overall Winner of the Silver Jubilee Prize and Winner of the John Kennedy Trophy for Multi-purpose Woodlands:
Forestry Commission Scotland (Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District) for Glenmore Forest Park, Aviemore, Inverness-shire
Judges’ view: an outstanding forest, where the scale of change to achieve objectives has been dramatic. The estate now combines biodiversity conservation, timber production and high quality access in an impressive way, handling 350,000 visitors cross the forest park each year.
Winner of the Hunter Blair Salver awarded for Silvicultural Excellence:
Dr James Bryce for Newbyth Oak Wood, East Linton, East Lothian
Judges’ view: an exemplar of broadleaf silviculture. The quality of crop management was singled out for praise with the thinning, brashing and monitoring an excellent demonstration of what is sadly a dying art in Scotland and ‘a window on the past’.
Winner of the Dulverton Flagon awarded for Innovation and Diversity:
The Crown Estate for Glenlivet Estate, Banffshire
Judges’ view: a special prize for innovation and diversity to mark the Estate’s keen and enthusiastic focus on innovation and drawing in partners and resources to contribute to and benefit from the estate.
Notes to Editors:
1. The awards programme is run by an independent charity, Scotland’s Finest Woods, in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and the Forest Education Initiative. Additional support is provided by Alba Trees; Central Scotland Forest Trust; Confederation of Forest Industries; Institute of Chartered Foresters; Royal Scottish Forestry Society; Scottish Forestry Trust; UPM Tilhill.
2. The full list of Awards made and profiles of the winning entries are attached.
3. Further information on www.sfwa.co.uk or from Peter Wilson, Executive Director, Scotland’s Finest Woods on 0131 226 4665, 07740 434 220 or email@example.com.