New Urban category for RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards

Date Issued: 13 November 2012
RFS President, Nick Halsey, launches new Urban Forestry Award

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) Excellence in Forestry Awards have been expanded to include, for the first time, an urban forestry category sponsored by Forestry Commission England. Entries are now being sought throughout an area stretching from Worcestershire through the West Midlands and north west of England to Cumbria for all five woodland categories – Multipurpose (Duke of Cornwall Award), Community, Silviculture, Small Woodlands (up to 20ha) and Urban Forestry – and for the Schools Award.

The awards aim to identify the best woodlands in the region and to shine a light on local beacons of good practice. At stake are £1000 top prizes and £500 second prizes in each of the categories.

The new Urban Forestry category is for trees and woodlands within urban populations of more than 10,000 and aims to recognise inspiring projects involving trees in any land use including streets, parks, urban woodlands or within social housing. Entries are expected to show a strategic and innovative approach to urban tree management and regeneration.

A separate Schools Award is also being offered to nurseries, schools and educational organisations for inspirational projects relating to trees and woods. No woodland necessary!

RFS President Nick Halsey said: “Woodlands and trees play a vital role in all aspects of our lives – from helping to combat climate change and providing timber, to enhancing our environment and leisure activities. By shining the spotlight on the very best a region has to offer, we are able to share best practice amongst other woodland owners and managers.”

Keith Jones, Forestry Commission Area Director for the North West and West Midlands, said: “There are some outstanding woodlands which deserve wider recognition. Trees and woods are vital in shaping a more sustainable future and in particular we have seen some really innovative schemes in our towns and cities, home to 80% of England’s population.

“Urban trees help cool and clean the air, create attractive settings for business and investment, improve the quality of life for people and provide places to exercise. We are delighted to support these awards which recognise achievement and also point the way forward.”

Woodlands in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria and the Isle of Man are eligible to take part in the 2013 RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards. Entries must be received by 4 March 2013, and judging will be held in May and June 2013. The woodland category Awards will be presented at a special event during July.

Further details and entry forms are available on the RFS Excellence in Forestry pages.

Our thanks to our Category Sponsors 2013: