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2014 - Winners


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

In 2014, we invited past winners from across England to compete for a Best of England title in five categories. A 'Woodlands for Climate Change Award' was also held, sponsored by Forestry Commission England in partnership with the Environment Agency Climate Ready.

For details of winners in 2014, please follow the links below:


 Eifbestofengland Judges Crfs 120914 Pt


About the judges

Judges for 2014 were:


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.

Rob Guest – Rob began working in forestry in Lincolnshire in his school holidays and went on to gain a forestry degree from Bangor University. He worked in forest management and research in New Zealand for twenty years, working in forest habitat from the coastal zone to high in the southern Alps. Rob returned to Britain where he took a post with Forestry Commission as Silviculture and Environment Manager for North and East England and then became Deputy Surveyor for the Forest of Dean, a position he held until he retired in 2010.

Dr Gabriel Hemery – Co-founder and Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation, he is a founding trustee of Fund4Trees, and formerly a trustee of Woodland Heritage and Secretary of the British & Irish Hardwoods Improvement Programme. A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, Gabriel has written more than 70 technical articles and worked widely in collaborative science programmes, ranging from genetic tree improvement to silvo-poultry research. He created a centre dedicated to hardwood research centre at Paradise Wood in Oxfordshire. He writes a popular forestry blog and his first book, The New Sylva, was published by Bloomsbury in April 2014.

Phil Tanner – RFS Education Manager, Phil is leading on a number of RFS college-centred projects, encouraging students to become involved in research and to develop links, through the RFS membership, within the forestry industry. He has reviewed the prestigious RFS Cert Arb Level 2 and is working with awarding bodies to develop further formal qualifications which meet the needs of modern forestry. While with the School of Forestry at the University of Montana, Phil researched the effects of squirrels, including American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), on forestry and woodland activities. Phil is also a former ‘conservation in action’ warden and has lectured on countryside management at UK colleges.

John Weir – FC Advisor for woodland creation and resilience, Forest Services, England. Having started working within the forest industry in the mid 1970s, John has worked as a forester in Scotland, England and Wales. Most recently, after 7 years as Director of the National Arboreta (Westonbirt and Bedgebury Pinetum) he took on the role as Climate Change Programme Manager for Forest Enterprise England and is author of the Climate Change Action Plan for the Forestry Commission estate in England. In his current job for Forest Services England his challenge is to facilitate ‘anticipatory adaptation’ within England’s woodlands – creating resilience both in existing and new woodlands.