A forward thinking Ayrshire estate has been awarded the trophy for New Native Woodland in Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards.
Over the last 12 years more than 170 hectares (420 acres) of native woodland have been created by Mark Gibson at Craigengillan Estate, alongside over 18 kilometres of hedging.
The woodland was one of 60 Diamond Woods created across the UK to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Jubilee and local schoolchildren were heavily involved in its creation.
Four new woods were commended as good examples of how woodland can enhance other land uses including farming, and also demonstrating that native species can be included in commercial planting projects.
Andrew Campbell, head of woodland creation for the Woodland Trust Scotland said: “Creating new native woodland offers a range of benefits to people and wildlife. Craigengillan Estate is a great example of how native woodland can be developed to produce a supply of timber and wood fuel as well as creating local employment and improving the recreational potential of the estate to provide attractive places that the public can explore and enjoy.”
Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards recognise and celebrate visionary communities, landowners and practitioners who create and manage Scotland’s finest woods and help to sustain and enhance forestry.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP presented the awards at this year’s Royal Highland Show. He said: “These awards celebrate the contribution that woodland can make to the people, environment and economic prosperity of Scotland.”
Full list of winners in the New Native Woods category
Winner of the Woodland Trust Scotland trophy
Mark Gibson for Craigengillan Estate, Dalmellington, Ayrshire
Cawdor Estate for Auchtertipper near Carrbridge, Inverness-shire
Forestry Commission Scotland & UPM Tilhill for Glen Orchy Native Woodland, Argyll
Roag Common Grazing crofting tenants for Coille Cnoc na h-Airigh (Wood of the Hill of the
Shielings), Dunvegan, Isle of Skye
RSPB Scotland for Wood of Cree (Barclye) near Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire