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EiF Climate Change Award


Woodlands for Climate Change 2014 - Winners

Sponsored by Forestry Commission England


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 In 2014, the RFS launched the Woodlands for Climate Change Competition sponsored by Forestry Commission England.

This new award, sponsored by FC England, is open to all woodlands throughout England where tree plantings, both new and restocking, are creating sites that are resilient to the predicted challenges of climate change and pests and diseases.

The Award envisages that the primary purpose of these plantings will be for the production of sustainable timber. Plantings must demonstrate anticipatory adaptation through the selection of tree species suitable for the present but also anticipating the future climate.

To enter, woodlands should have been planted during the past five years and must be no less than 5 hectares in size (although this could include several smaller compartments or mixed restocking and new planting).

Case studies of the winner, runner up and commended entries can be downloaded here

  • First prize, £1000; second prize, £500.

Winners of the Woodlands for Climate Change Award and our Best of England categories will receive their awards at a special event at Upton Estate on 9 July 2014.

Judges visited five shortlisted contenders and judge Dr Gabriel Hemery said: “It was clear that all shortlisted entrants had thoroughly researched the theories of environmental change, and developed practical solutions to fit local conditions. All shared a strong intention to manage the stands productively.”


  • Winner; Santon Downham, Thetford Forest, Suffolk

The winner was Santon Downham, a 192-hectare site within Thetford Forest in Suffolk. Santon Downham is owned by FC England and, following the outbreak of Dothistroma needle blight (DNB) in Thetford Forest, Forestry Commission staff trialled underplanting of thinned stands of Corsican pine with ten shade tolerant conifer species.

Eifbestofengland Woodlandsforclimatechangewinners Crfs 120914 Pt (1)Left to right: Brian Greenacre, Anne Mason and Terry Jennings receive the £1000 prize on behalf of the friends of Thetford Forest, from FC England Director, Ian Gambles.

Judges were impressed by the way in which the outbreak of DNB had been faced up to at a vast scale and the novel approaches taken to the restructuring of stands and added: "Early survival and growth of the underplantings was impressive. Unexpected outcomes from the approaches taken have included a reduction in the occurrence of DNB in the thinned stands, and the improvement of micro-climate for some of the frost-sensitive conifers in the underplanting.”

Terry Jennings, Forestry Commission East England District Forester, said: “The team at East England FD are delighted to have received this prestigious award from the RFS. It is a reflection of the dedication and professionalism of the team to add climate change resilience to the forest in one of the, already, driest parts of the country and the challenges this presents.”

The prize will be spent on trees for the collection in the Lynford Arboretum that the Friends manage with the FC’s support.


  • Second prize; Treworder Barton Farm, Wadebridge, Cornwall

The second prize went to Treworder Barton Farm, Wadebridge, Cornwall – a commercial eucalypt, Sitka spruce and native broadleaved planting scheme designed around a productive arable farm near the North Cornish coast, planted with the help of an FC Woodland Creation Grant.

Treworder Barton, Cornwall: Owner Hugh David (left) and judges John Weir and Gabriel Hemery

The judges commented: “The farmer and agent, acting as advisor, had made significant efforts to study the planting site, research suitable species and to source appropriate planting stock. The plantings were very much viewed as a crop, with rotation ages from fifteen years, effectively as short rotation forestry. Sitka spruce plantings were included as an insurance, being a proven commercial crop, and broadleaved planting around the perimeter of the farm provided landscape screening and character.”

The managing agent is Bryan Elliott of Pryor & Rickett Silviculture. 

Farm owner Hugh Davis said: “I was delighted with the award, especially as this is a relatively small woodland operation which is very much part of a farm diversification scheme, looking forward  at what climate change may bring.

Left to right: Bryan Elliott and Hugh Davis from Treworder Barton receive the award from FC England Director, Ian Gambles.

“I looked at the markets and felt that especially here in the South West there will be a shortage in wood to supply, coupled with the growing bio- and wood-fuel markets which are being driven by the renewable heat incentive. I felt that nobody was really seriously looking at the home grown supply issue with imports sourced from Canada, South America and elsewhere in Europe. Eucalypt has been chosen as a short rotation crop, so being able to grow this on arable land  gives it the very best start  and  we are planning to expand the planting  next year.”


Highly commended

Highly Commended were: Combe Sydenham Country Park, Somerset, owned by William Theed; Norbury Park, Stafford, Prof Jo Bradwell; and Sefton Coast Woodlands, Formby part of the Mersey Forest.

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William Theed of Combe Sydenham Country Park receives the award from FC England Director, Ian Gambles.









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Clare Oliver of Mersey Forest Woodlands receives the award from FC England Director, Ian Gambles.









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Professor Jo Bradwell receives the award from FC England Director, Ian Gambles.