EiF Silviculture Award
2015 - Royal Forestry Society Excellence in Forestry Silviculture Award
Sponsored by Tubex
The RFS Silviculture Award recognises and encourages exemplary best practice in silviculture in commercial woodlands where quality timber production is a primary aim.
The Gold Award was won by Glynaeron and Tẏ Rhyg (part of Coed Preseli) at Crymych, Pembrokeshire, owned by Robert and Jill Holding.
The Silver Award was won jointly by:
Glanusk Estate, near Crickhowell in South Powys, owned by owned by the Hon Dame ESJ Legge Bourke and HR Legge Bourke.
Penrhiwiar, Cefn Gwenffrwd & Cwm Cae'r Odyn (part of Bryn Arau Duon), owned by Ilchester Estates.
|RFS Past President Anthony Bosanquet, left, with owners Robert and Jill Holding, front, Huw Denman and RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker|
Glynaeron (58ha) and Tẏ Rhyg (32ha) are managed according to continuous cover principles. Monitoring of timber yields demostrates production of very high proportions of quality 18cm sawlogs, with all recent selective felling operations exceeding 83% sawlogs by volume (97% of value yield) which is mainly sold to local sawmills. A lesser quantity of 14cm bars, fencing material, biofuel, firewood, chipwood and pulpwood is also produced. Selective felling is routinely followed by small group planting of Douglas fir, western red cedar, Norway spruce and broadleaves. The area is also managed for biodiversity (notable species include royal fern and beard lichen as well as nesting red kites, ravens, teal and wintering great grey shrikes), archaeological, landscape and hydrological features.
What the judges said: "This two-part entry was a very clear winner, scoring highly on all judging criteria. It was apparent that all aspects affecting the sustainable productivity of the site, for landscape enhancement, wildlife and archaeological conservation, soil and water protection, as well as timber production and income generation, had been addressed ..... It is an excellent example of the benefits to be gained from the practical implementation of continuous cover forestry principles."
What the owners said: “The forest is very important to us. We visit it as often as we can, sometimes several times a week and particularly get great pleasure from the stands managed under continuous cover. Not only are the continuous cover stands profitable, but they also feel like a real forest with big trees and luxuriant understorey of vegetation and natural regeneration which provides habitat for woodland birds and other species.
" Selective felling every four years gives us a regular income from the forest and allows enough light to encourage the trees and natural regeneration to respond and grow. Being in Tŷ Rhyg on a sunny day sometimes feels like being in an ‘old growth’ Sitka forest in Oregon or natural spruce forest in central Europe. We get great pleasure from the fact that visitors like to walk in our woods and that birdwatchers come especially for the woodland birds and report them on the Pembrokeshire Bird Blog, and this is in a productive commercial forest.”
Silver Award: Glanusk Estate, near Crickhowell in South Powys, owned by owned by the Hon Dame ESJ Legge Bourke and HR Legge Bourke; Penrhiwiar, Cefn Gwenffrwd & Cwm Cae'r Odyn (part of Bryn Arau Duon), owned by Ilchester Estates.
|RFS Past President Anthony Bosanquet with Harry Legge-Bourke for the Glanusk Estate and RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker|
The entry consisted of The Myarth - a 196.7 ha prominent wooded hill within the Brecon Beacons National Park that rises sharply from the Usk valley. On its southern face are broadleaved crops of oak, birch, sycamore and ash. Plundered during successive war efforts these stands were left to regenerate naturally and are beginning to realise value through the production of firewood. On the northern face are highly productive stands of spruce, larch and Douglas fir. Restructuring of these has been carefully designed to improve the landscape and aesthetic value. Glanusk estate has gained a reputation for conifer timber of large dimension and high quality.
What the judges said: "We were impressed that within landscape constraints a very well planned sequence of forest operations was in progress designed to maximise financial returns while maintaining diversity of native ground flora within ancient woodland sites, and providing a venue of high quality for commercial and sporting events. Record keeping and monitoring were demonstrated to be of a very high standard while forest product marketing ensured that the best prices were obtained for all outputs from the forest, including large diameter timber which is mostly sold and used locally."
What the owners said: " The whole Glanusk Team is thrilled to have been placed a worthy second in the RFS Excellence in Forestry Silviculture Award 2015. There has been a tremendous amount of work carried out in very difficult areas and terrain in the past few years and we are delighted that these efforts have been recognised. A big thank you to Debbie Murray the Glanusk Estate Manager, Ian Barrington from Pryor and Rickett Silviculture and the contractors over the past year. We are delighted with the award and will continue the silvicultural management plan for future generations to enjoy the Glanusk Estate Woodlands."
|RFS Past President Anthony Bosanquet with Andy Poore for Ilchester Estates and RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker|
Bryn Arau Duon is a plantation owned by Ilchester Estates which was planted mainly with Sitka spruce and small areas of pine and Japanese larch between 1977-2000. A 200ha area was entered into the awards. The forest is managed according to continuous cover forestry management principles. Timber is sold standing, mainly to local sawmills. Significant quantities of fencing materials, 14cm bars, biofuel, firewood, chipwood and pulpwood is also produced. Group under-planting of Douglas fir, western red cedar and Norway spruce has recently begun. Conservation of red squirrel populations are an important management objective
What the judges said: they were impressed by two main aspects: the " very detailed planning and implementation of all forest operations based on a 2010 forest inventory using strict thinning and final selection criteria to ensure optimal output of quality timber while allowing natural regeneration, thus moving towards continuous cover. Record keeping was demonstrated to be comprehensive and up to date": and...
"The long and continuing successful effort to conserve the Red squirrel population that exists within the forest through monitoring, habitat maintenance and Grey squirrel control. Much valuable collaborative research on Red squirrel population dynamics and genetic composition has taken place and Bryn Arau Duon is regarded as a flagship site for such activities."
What the owners said: “Coed Bryn Arau Duon is our main upland forest holding and our commercial objectives are to produce predictable income whilst increasing the quality and value of the property. Two key aims are to maximise the production of quality sawlogs through silvicultural intervention and to re-structure the forest so that it is resilient, provides flexibility in terms of income production and allows the use of natural processes to reduce costs. Ilchester Estates is also committed to improving the environmental quality of the forest, with regard to both incorporating semi-natural habitats as appropriate and conserving key species such as the red squirrel.”