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2012 - Winners


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Excellence in Forestry - winners 2012

The RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards are the country’s premier forestry competition and are held on a seven-year rotation around England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In 2012, the Awards focused on woodlands from across the South West of England. The judges recorded some “outstanding examples” of good management with category winners ranging from traditional large estates and individual owners to a Town Council and a Friends Group, across Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

There are four woodland categories and an additional challenge trophy – the Sylva Cup – to recognise an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to woodlands or the understanding of woodlands.

The awards were presented at a special event at the Forestry Commission national arboretum at Westonbirt.

In 2013 the competition will visit the North West and the West Midlands covering Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria and the Isle of Man.

For photographs and details of winners in 2012, please follow the links below:



About the judges - Judges in 2012:


Tim Sawyer – Tim attended Gwydyr Forester Training School from 1962–64 and later gained the National Diploma in Forestry and the Diploma in Management Studies. He spent his career with the Forestry Commission, apart from a two-year secondment to the government of Jamaica. He was a member of the FC's Work Study Branch, Head Training Forester for South and West England, Forest District Manager for the Marches Forest District and then Regional Operations Manager when Southwest and Southeast England merged. Tim retired in 1998 and now lives in Salisbury, spending some time each year in Australia.

Chris Marrow – Chris graduated in forestry 1984 from University College North Wales Bangor, and spent four years with Tilhill Forestry Ltd in the south east and in the Marches before joining the Forestry Commission in the south west. He was Forest District Manager, Cornwall and North Devon from 1991 to 1996 then for  Peninsula from 1996 to 2010 before leaving to develop an independent forest management consultancy.

Debbie Cotton – Debbie studied ecology at Manchester Metropolitan University and conservation at University College London, where she specialised in woodland community ecology and the conservation of fragmented woodland habitats. Debbie is a qualified forest school leader and has been leading forest school sessions near her home in Oxfordshire since 2009. She is the Education Officer for the RFS and works with schools, college students and adults to help improve knowledge of trees and woods nationwide. She is a member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) and sits on the steering committee for the Forest Education Network.

Richard Pain – Richard studied environmental biology at Aberystwyth University, protected area management at the University of London and forestry at Aberdeen University. He has worked for educational organisations such as the Field Studies Council and the Natural History Museum. Richard managed an estate in Kent for a number of years before joining the Forestry Commission in 2009; firstly as SSSI Project Officer and then as Woodland Officer for the county of Oxfordshire where he now lives.