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Businesses, school, communities and individuals are being urged to find out if their woodland is one of the best!
The 2015 Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards are open now for applications in the annual celebration that aims to recognise and reward those who use, promote, own or manage Scotland's woods and forests to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.
Angela Douglas (FICFor, BSc (For)), who became Executive Director of Scotland's Finest Woods in December, said:
“I am delighted to be given this fantastic chance to recognise the very best of Scotland woods, their management and all they can offer.
“It is great that the highest standards of silvicultural to grow high quality timber, new native woodland creation, community activities and school’s projects have a way to compete and gain recognition for being the very best at what they are doing.
“And once again we’ve expanded our Scotland-wide Community Woodlands Awards to include two distinct competitions for 'healthy lifestyles' and 'viable livelihoods'.
“With the applications round for 2015 just having opened - and nearly £7,000 of prize money to be won - I encourage anyone with an interest to enter their woodland project today and be part of it!"
There are four category awards – featuring seven competitions!:
The Schools Award is open to secondary, primary, pre-school and special schools anywhere in Scotland that have been involved in any projects involved with trees, woodlands or forestry. This award includes a cash prize of £500 for the winner and £250 for the runner-up.
The Community Woodlands Award is for community-based woodland related projects from any part of Scotland and features two separate competitions - one for projects with a 'health and wellbeing' focus and a second for those focusing on promoting 'viable livelihoods with an economic development and regeneration' focus. The prestigious Tim Stead Trophy and £2,000 of prize money is available to be won.
The New Native Woods Award is for new native woodland projects – and is rewarded with the striking Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy and £1,000 of prize money.
The Quality Timber Awards focuses on growing quality timber and has three competitions - newly-planted commercial woods; a single-stands or compartment or small wood; or whole estates/large multi-purpose forests. Three trophies and £3,000 of prize money have to be won.
Full details, including entry criteria and entry forms, are available at www.sfwa.co.uk where you can also register your interest in entering the Awards.
Entries must be received by 31st March 2015.
Notes to Editors:
1) Scotland's Finest Woods is an independent charity and relies on the generosity of supporters to stage Scotland's premier woodland awards programme. This year's key Delivery Partners are: BSW Timber, Egger Forestry, , Forestry Commission Scotland, Iggesund Paperboard, James Jones & Sons Ltd, Outdoor Woodland & Learning Scotland, Scottish Woodlands Ltd, UPM Tilhill and Woodland Trust Scotland.
2) Angela Douglas joined Scotland’s Finest Woods on 1st December 2014. A Chartered Forester with over 25 years forestry experience gained across the private, public and charitable sectors often working in successful partnerships. Angela was brought up in Fife, studied forestry at Aberdeen University then worked in Sweden, North England for Tilhill Forestry before returning to Scotland to work for the Central Scotland Countryside Trust, Tayside Native Woodlands and latterly The Woodland Trust Scotland as Director for 12 years before setting up her own Consultancy business that has been very busy these past four years. She is on the Board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority and a small private forestry company; is a Member of the National Forest Land Scheme Evaluation Panel; and undertakes forest management certification work. Her two young, very lively Springer spaniels and cycling keep her occupied in any spare time.
Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0131 314 6507
Angela Douglas, Scotland's Finest Woods Awards, 07969 327015 or 01337 870208