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Sylva Trophy goes to author, forest scientist and woodland owner Professor Julian Evans
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A forest scientist, author and woodland owner of international renown, Professor Julian Evans, has been awarded the 2019 Sylva Trophy for outstanding contributions to forestry.

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Patrick Evelyn, left, presents the 2019 Sylva Trophy to Professor Julian Evans for his outstanding contributions to forestry.

The Sylva Trophy is donated by Patrick Evelyn, a direct descendent of John Evelyn, author of the seminal 17th century ‘Sylva or a Discourse of Forest-trees and the propagation of Timber’.

Professor Julian Evans OBE, FICFor, BSc, PhD, DSc. was formerly professor of Forestry at Imperial College, and before that the Forestry Commission’s Chief Research Officer (S) at Alice Holt Research Station.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and a past President and has written, or was a principal editor of, many technical books on forestry and tree related subjects. 

He was one of the three principal editors of the Encyclopaedia of Forest Science (Elsevier 2004). Internationally, Julian has chaired UN Intersessional conferences on the Future of Planted Forests, Chile and New Zealand, and in 1997 he was appointed OBE for “Services to Forestry and the Third World”.

Julian has a long-term interest in the silviculture of broadleaved woodland in the UK and owns woodland in Hampshire.

On receiving the award, he said: “‘I am humbled, delighted but above all surprised to receive this great honour. I am doubly blessed to receive it from Patrick Evelyn, a direct descendent of the great John Evelyn, as a part of my own woodland was once owned by the great man’s sister-in-law.

"Also when lecturing on trees in the Bible my final quote is always from Evelyn’s Sylva: ‘In a word, and speak a bold and noble truth, trees and woods have twice saved the whole world, first by the ark and then by the cross; making full amends for evil fruit of the tree in paradise by that which was born on the tree in Golgotha."

Since Julian’s book God’s Trees, was published four years ago he has given over 120 presentations all over the country in cathedrals, at prayer breakfasts, to secular groups etc - offering the above quote from Sylva at each of each of them!

Nominating him for the award, Derick Stickler, Chairman of the RFS Southern Division, says: “He attends our Southern Division’s meetings and is a major contributor to our discussions; his experience and expertise is widely sort by members.”

Julian is a mentor for new woodland owners on the RFS’s mentoring programme and holds training courses in his Hampshire woodland. He has also written Getting Started in Your Own Wood and is on the Editorial Board of the Quarterly Journal of Forestry.

Details of previous Sylva Trophy Award winners can be found here.