The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society gives forestry managers a chance to exhibit their skills within the various categories for entry. Large, and small, young and old, with both hardwoods and conifers having separate classes. There are four sections for various sized estates, and nine for the many woodland categories.
The winner this year was Iwan Parry MICFor, Senior Forest Manager at Tilhill Forestry, who happens to be ICF Wales Chairman! He entered four managed woodlands, of which three were ‘old’ and well established woods well into a second and third rotation, so providing great variety. The other was a large new planting from the 1990s. An interesting site with hardwoods mixed with conifers, and where Ash Dieback had created space, the Sitka spruce was truly exceptional.
The older plantations require detailed management and contain fine stands of mature Douglas fir and spruce. Restocking is a challenge and with owner’s support a new commercial core has been established, with additional variety of species. All three have considerable public access, and indeed one of the prizes was for the best Community woodland. In all they constituted a fine sample of many aspects of excellent management, to become a worthy winner of the award.