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Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2024 – One Month Left to Nominate

There is now just over one month left to nominate for Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards! Jean Nairn, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, gives us an insight into what we can expect this year…

Jean Nairn – Executive Director of Scotland's Finest Woods
Jean Nairn – Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods

The landscape is changing, in more ways than one. Forestry and farming are now working more closely together with agroforestry becoming the new norm and driving successful businesses across Scotland.

Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2024 will champion this brilliant work as well as highlighting the commercial sectors, new native woods, schools and early years and community projects.

Forestry has moved on a long way from the days of earlier rotations when plantations of dense Sitka spruce were commonplace. Chartered Foresters are using their excellence and knowledge to complement both the landscape and biodiversity of an area, as well as the viability of the plantation.

This can mean having different species in the same place, or knowing what tree should suit what terrain.

On the farm it can mean planting shelter belts for landscapes or using animals themselves to promote biodiversity and help woodland thrive. Last year, a brilliant example of agroforestry using pigs won David Carruth the Scottish Woodlands Farm Woodland Trophy for Young People for his work at Brodoclea, Dalry, North Ayrshire, for The Future Forest Company. The Mangalitza pigs manage the forest by grazing down the dominant species on the forest floor, allowing other species of plants and young trees to thrive.

There are 11 trophies up for grabs in six categories at the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2024 – New Native Woods, Farm Woodland, Quality Timber, Community Woodlands, Climate Change Champion, and Schools and Early Years.

Because of the breadth of the awards, anyone with a high-quality project can enter, whether that be a school or pre-school nursery, a forestry business – small or large – an expert forester, farmer or crofter, or a community woodland group.

The icing on the cake for the Quality Timber Awards last year was the highly coveted Dulverton Flagon, an occasional award given at the judges’ discretion for a successful balance between commercial forestry and competing objectives. It was given to Ardachuple, in a National Scenic Area at the Kyles of Bute, Cowal – owned by Bamberg and managed by Tilhill.

A planted forest can be a nourishing place to be, somewhere to escape, immerse yourself in the sounds of birdsong, or go for a walk. Using the skills and expertise of Chartered Foresters, biodiversity is being allowed to develop while quality timber is being produced at the same time, which in turn means we are reducing the country’s carbon footprint by importing less wood.

This is a win-win situation – meaning the economy grows and the environment has the chance to thrive.

Last year, The Future Forest Company took the Climate Change Champion Trophy for their work at Dumyat, near Stirling, with a “multi-use forest for the future”. This saw great examples of carbon sequestration, enhancing biodiversity and providing for communities.

Across Scotland we know there are inspirational people who are making a difference through their commitment to the woodlands they own, manage and volunteer in. This is the chance to celebrate them.

Entries must be submitted by 23:59 on Sunday March 31, 2024. For full details, criteria and entry forms see:

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