Woodland awards deadline nears

Woodland owners and managers (private and public), community groups and farmers in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Avon, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall have until the beginning of March to take part in the RFS Woodland Awards.

There are four woodland award categories, each recognising good practice – Multipurpose (Duke of Cornwall Award), Community, Silviculture and Small Woodlands (up to 20ha). Award winners are seen as beacons of local best practice.

In addition, a Schools Award is open to all schools and educational establishments, from nursery to age 18, for inspirational projects relating to trees and woods.

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, email rfscompetition@boyns.net or call 01824 704230 (office hours)

The awards are supported by Forestry Commission England to highlight how forestry skills and innovation can apply the new UK Forestry Standard and its guidelines in practice. They are held annually and rotate around the country.

RFS Chief Executive Dr John Jackson said:

"This is an opportunity for owners and  managers to demonstrate the great work they are doing in developing woodlands for today’s and future generations which not only provide timber but also significantly improve the environment, biodiversity and our health and well being as well as helping to combat climate change.

"The awards cast the spotlight on all that is good in a region’s woodlands, and  reward schools and other organisations involved in projects that draw their inspirations from our woodland and timber heritage."

Sponsors include: FC England, 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 ).

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