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Uncovering a rich seam of forestry excellence
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Royal Forestry Society (RFS) awards have revealed a rich seam of excellence in woodlands and woodland learning projects across the West and South West of England, ranging from the Duchy of Cornwall woodland in Herefordshire to small woods in Gloucestershire and Devon.

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Top,Graham Taylor, centre, receives the Duke of Cornwall Gold award for the Duchy of Cornwall Aconbury Wood and Wallsbrook Wood

Below: Architect and TV presenter  Piers Taylor on how architecture meets woodlands

Pic Credit RFS/BrianMartin

Presenting the Excellence in Forestry Awards at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt, RFS President Andrew Woods said: “The Excellence in Forestry Awards have once again revealed a rich seam of excellence in woodland management – from some of the most prestigious estates in the country to some of the smallest of woods. As landowners and woodland managers look to an uncertain future with increasing climate and environmental challenges, these are all woodland we can learn from.

“It is also uplifting to see the fantastic work that is being carried out in primary schools, among communities and at MSc level to encourage forestry and woodland skills. These projects tap into the enthusiasm of those who will be planning, planting and managing our woodlands in the future as well as looking at how timber can be used in construction for generations to come and deserve the recognition they receive.”

The full list of winners is:

Duke of Cornwall Award for Resilient Multipurpose Woodland

Gold: Aconbury Wood and Wallsbrook Wood, Herefordshire, owned by Duchy of Cornwall

Silver: Witham Park, Maiden Bradley, Somerset, owned by the Duke of Somerset

Certificate of Merit: Moor Wood and Woodcombe, Somerset, owned by Exmoor National Park

This category was sponsored by: Savills and Trees Please

RFS Silviculture Award

Gold: Timberline Wood, Herefordshire, owned by Duchy of Cornwall

Silver: Silk Wood, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, owned by Forestry Commission England

Certificate of Merit: Combe Sydenham, Somerset owned by Theed Forestry Estates

This category was sponsored by Tilhill and Tubex

Small/Farm Woodland Award

Gold: Broomhill Wood, Gloucestershire, owned by Will Wilkinson

Joint Silver: The Hillyfield, Devon, owned by Doug King-Smith

&                      Millmoor Woodland, Devon owned by Jan Wyllie

This category was held in partnership with RASE

Community Woodland Award

Gold: Dorsington Estate, Worcestershire/Warwickshire borders, owned by Heart of England Forest

Education and Learning Award

Gold: Design + Make MArch/MSc, The Architectural Association, Hooke Park, Beaminster, Dorset

Joint Silver: Madley Primary School, Herefordshire

&         Neroche Woodlanders, based at Young Wood, near Taunton, Somerset

This category was sponsored by PEFC UK 

Speaking at the awards event, architect and TV presenter Piers Taylor – himself a woodland owner - explained his inspirational journey to design buildings that combine storing carbon through the use of local timber with the knowhow of traditional rural buildings. 

Showing the winners around the Tree Management Centre he designed at Westonbirt using 20 metre long hand hewn Corsican pine beams, oak, spruce, larch and Douglas fir, all from the immediate area, he said: “One of the most beautiful things anyone can do is to build from timber on their own land.”

For more details on all category winners, follow the link here