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RASE and RFS join forces with Small and Farm Woodland Award
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The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) and the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) have joined forces to launch a new Small and Farm Woodlands Excellence Award.

The move renews a partnership between the two organisations which began in 1909 when they began to jointly organise an annual woodland competition with a gold medal awarded to the best entry. The competition rotated around the country and was fiercely contested for nearly 100 years.

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RASE Chief Executive David Gardner: "This award will recognise the role that woodlands play in wider landscape issues."

The new Small and Farm Woodlands Award is one of five categories in the Excellence in Forestry Awards which this year are open to entries from across the north of England.

RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd said: "Our organisations share common aims to  encourage excellence and share best practice. The new award reflects the importance of farm woodlands in today's rural economy and environment and we are delighted to be working again with the RASE. We look forward to receiving  entries from RASE members and others across the north of England."

The RASE will be sponsoring the award for the next three years and Chief Executive David Gardner said: “The RASE are delighted to be sponsoring the Small and Farm Woodlands Excellence Award. Woodlands play a huge role in the management of the landscape  and play a key role as part of catchment management in relation to water retention and flooding.

"The importance of strategic planting on farms to help control run off and improve soil absorption of water in periods of heavy rainfall is now a vital factor in landscape management. We hope that this award will recognise the role that woodland plays to these wider landscape issues.”

John Harris, RFS /RASE Council member who helped bring the two organisations back together to jointly host this award, added: “The management of our rural environment encompasses so many facets including food and timber production, biodiversity, habitat improvement, landscaping and flood control. Woodlands and farming should go hand in hand under a holistic management approach so it seems entirely appropriate that the two primary representative Societies should be working in conjunction to promote the Farm Woodlands Awards”.

Entries for the Small and Farm Woodland category must be a minimum of 0.2 hectares and a maximum of 20 hectares and be under the day-to-day management or guidance of the owner. They must also have been brought back into management in the last ten years and have a management plan in place. A £500 first prize is on offer and entries must be received by 8 March 2016. Full details are available here or by contacting competition organiser David Brackley at

The Excellence in Forestry Awards also include:

Duke of Cornwall Award for Resilient Woods

Excellence in Silviculture Award

Urban and Community Forestry Award

Education and Learning Award

In 2017 the Excellence in Forestry Awards  will be open to entries from the East of England and in 2018 from the West of England.