Four special woods and two educational programmes have been named by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) as the Best of the Best in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Following five years of regional Excellence in Forestry Award competitions the winners in five different categories went head-to-head this year.
Winners include: Shere Manor Estate in Surrey, England, an extensive area of pine plantation being converted to continuous cover forestry alongside management for biodiversity; Bramshill Plantation – a restored quarry in Hampshire; the remarkable Slieve Gullion Forest Park – one of the premier countryside attractions in Northern Ireland and a small farm woodland in Wales doing big things to promote timber culture.
Tying for Best of the Best education projects were Hill Holt Wood in Lincolnshire and Coleg Glynlifon in North Wales. Hill Holt Wood is an Environmental Social Enterprise providing education, training and employment for young people, many of whom have special needs. Coleg Glynlifon offers hands-on practical experiences within their Level 2 & 3 BTECs Countryside and Forestry courses.
RFS Chief Executive Christopher Williams said: “All these woodlands are beacons of excellence. They are examples of how different types of woodland needs to be managed and developed in the future. Woodlands like these help tackle the challenges of climate change. They provide benefit to communities and help our environment and local economies. By shining a spotlight on what they are doing we can help others adapt their woodlands.
“ Educational programmes like those at Hill Holt Wood and Coleg Glynlifon are leading the way. They are inspiring people to develop the skills we will increasingly rely on as we plant more woodland into the future.
“Congratulations to all our winners.”
To contact or follow up on any of the winners please contact Communications@rfs.org.uk
The RFS would like to thank all sponsors: Savills, Trees Please, Tilhill, FSC, Woodland Trust, Forestry Journal and PEFC