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Excellence in Silviculture

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This Award recognises and encourages exemplary silviculture in commercial woodlands or compartments of less than 30 years age where quality timber or wood fuel production is the primary aim.

2016 winners were: Gold: Zetland Estates' Carbon Code Woodland, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, owned by Earl of Ronaldshay. Silver: Ford and Etal Estates' Westfield Wood, near Wooler, Northumberland, owned by Lord and Lady Joicey More details below

Gold:  Zetland Estates' Carbon Code Woodland, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, owned by Earl of Ronaldshay

Over the last decade Zetland Estates has invested in 45 hectares of woodland creation, primarily

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Silvicuture Gold Zetland Shaun Purkiss 0306 Drowendavies

Top: Receiving Silviculture gold: Shaun Purkiss, with, left, Owen Davies (judge)  and right, Stuart Pearson (Tilhill Forestry) and Simon Place (Tubex)

Below: Shaun Purkiss demonstrating protection for new plantings

to ensure the Estate remains sustainable in supplying biomass for the Estate wood chip boilers as well as providing timber and firewood for sale.

The Carbon Code Woodland of over 25 hectares was planted in 2012-2015 and successfully achieved Forestry Commission Woodland Carbon code (FCWCC) registration in 2015 with carbon calculations estimated to be over 8000tC02e.

The planting will be verified once five-years established and from that point the Estate can trade the carbon credits to Estate and local businesses, enabling them to support a long term project to sequester carbon and acquire marketable green credentials.

Supported by two Forestry Commission Woodland Creation grant agreements, the new woodlands include a range of species: Sitka spruce, Scots pine, pedunculate oak, silver birch, sycamore, common alder, horn beam, wild cherry, rowan, hawthorn, hazel and guilder rose with stocking densities of 2250/ha for all species. All compartments are deer and rabbit fenced and maintained regularly.

What the judges said: This entry comprised young Woodland Carbon Code plantings, but reusable netting makes for cost effective deer fencing, and when combined with rabbit netting and vole guards has made for excellent protection from mammal damage. Chemical usage has been kept to minimum by using weed wipers.

"The judges were impressed by the relatively high stocking density of broadleaves, equal to that of conifers, and the consistently high establishment rates...Overall it was clear that the work had been carried out very professionally by an extremely dedicated forester.

What the owners said:  “I am truly delighted to have won this award but all credit must go to Shaun Purkiss who not only imagined the planting that could be done, he also made it happen," Earl of Ronaldshay.

Silver: Ford and Etal Estates' Westfield Wood, near Wooler, Northumberland, owned by Lord and Lady Joicey

The entry was based on three compartments under 30 years old within Ford Westfield Woods -

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Robert Nevins collects silver with Owen Davies, left, and Simon Place, right

an area of woodland extending to approximately 80ha managed on a continuous cover (CCF) basis.

They were:

  • a predominantly Corsican pine compartment, with a secondary mix of sycamore. The sycamore are included to provide open areas where sunlight can penetrate to create more diverse forest floor environment and more valuable wildlife habitat.
  • a compartment with a well-established parcel of Corsican pine where no thinning has yet taken place; 
  • A mixed broad leaf compartment of mainly oak and ash, established to give a commercial use to an area of ground which is subject to frequent flooding. 

What the judges said: " Work throughout was of a high standard, clearly based on a good knowledge of site variation across the estate. A conscious decision had been made to use local provenances wherever possible (including, until recently, Corsican pine from seed collected on the estate), grown as locally as possible to match conditions. Sites were very tidy, clearly reflecting the importance of the internal landscape of the estate, on which there is a great deal of recreational access, and plantings also reflected the importance of the external landscape."

What the owners said: "The Joicey family and the rest of the Estate forestry team are delighted to receive this award. Our forestry team is something which the Estate is extremely proud of, as it gives the opportunity to manage the habitats and timber resource on the Estate closely and with real flexibility depending on site conditions. Moreover, alongside our sawmill, the department provides employment to a number of staff members and supports the local rural economy and society, something which is highly important to the Estate. It is extremely gratifying that some of the core management objectives set out by our head forester have been recognised by the judging team."

This award is sponsored by:

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