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Searching for the best in South West woodlands
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Date Issued: 29 December 2011

 

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) is searching the South West of England to find the best managed woodlands and the most inspirational school projects that promote learning about trees.

Entries are now open to woodland owners and managers (private and public), community groups, farmers and schools in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Avon, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall to take part in the prestigious RFS Woodland Awards.

The Awards are held in association with Forestry Commission England.

There are four Woodland Award categories, each recognising good practice:

In addition, a Schools Award is open to all schools and educational establishments, from nursery to age 18, which can encompass any current project relating to trees and woods.

RFS Chief Executive Dr John Jackson said: “The awards move around the country, and each region has something special to offer. This year the spotlight falls on the South West, and we are convinced that the wide range of woodlands found across the area will reveal some truly exceptional examples of best practice.

“Woodlands are very much in the public eye at the moment, not only because of the challenges they face from exotic pests and diseases, but also because of their wildlife value and the enormous benefits that they bring in helping to combat climate change, and in providing resources for recreation and leisure as well as fuel, building materials and other uses.

“This is a once in seven year opportunity to find the best woods that the South West has to offer – and to highlight those woodlands as an example for others to aspire to and to learn from.”

The Forestry Commission is delighted to lend its support to the RFS Woodland Awards. The awards are a special opportunity to show how forestry skills and innovation can apply the new UK Forestry Standard and its guidelines in practice.

There are prizes of £1000 for the winner and £500 for the runner up in each category. Entries must be received by 6 March 2012, and judging will be held in May and June 2012. The Woodland Awards will be presented at a special event at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt on 5 July 2012.

For further details and entry forms visit www.rfs.org.uk or email rfscompetition@boyns.net

Sponsors include: John Clegg & Co (Multipurpose (Duke of Cornwall) Award), Tubex (Silviculture) and woodlands.co.uk (Small Woodlands); PEFC UK Ltd and ECL Howard Watson Smith LLP (Schools).