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Excellence in Forestry Awards 2018: why woodlands in the West of England should enter
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"It’s only through ensuring high quality woodland management and talking about it to a wider world that we will help people distinguish between excellence and exploitation in forestry," so says Rachel Thomas as she launches the Excellence in Forestry 2018 Awards.

Rachelthomas Eif2018 271117 Wn D71 8125

RFS EiF Co-ordinator Rachel Thomas: Talking woodland excellence

Rachel - the RFS Excellence in Forestry (EiF) Co-ordinator - adds: "Woods and forests provide a huge range of benefits that society sometimes takes for granted. Although well understood within the forestry sector they are not necessarily appreciated outside.

"I really would like to encourage more woodland owners from all parts of the forestry sector to enter the Excellence in Forestry awards both in those sectors where they already excel, be it silviculture, farms woods, community or education or all round excellence and resilience; but also in those categories where they might not be considered the ‘usual suspects’.

"For me, the RFS Excellence in Forestry Award is a great opportunity to showcase to the forestry sector, and to a wider world, the benefits that society derives from excellent woodland management."

In 2018 the awards are being held across the West of England from Cheshire in the North West to Cornwall in the South West. There are five categories: Resilient Multipurpose (Duke of Cornwall’s Award), Silviculture, Small and Farm Woodland, Community Woodland and an Education and Learning Award.

Closing date for entries is noon on Tuesday 6 March 2018. Details are available here 

The Awards will be presented at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt on 13 July.

Rachel was appointed EiF Co-ordinator earlier this year. She has more than 25 years’ experience of woodland and conservation management locally and nationally and latterly combined this with running high profile communications events and programmes. She has strong connections across the forestry and conservation sectors and spent three years advising English Heritage and MoD on the nature conservation value of their own estates. Woodland and land use history is a particular interest.