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2015 Winner

2015 RFS Sylva Trophy winner - David Jenkins and Coed Cymru

The 2015 Sylva Trophy for  "outstanding contribution to forestry in its broadest sense"  has been awarded by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) to David Jenkins MBE and Coed Cymru.

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David Jenkins

The award was received by Nic Wheeler OBE,  Coed Cymru Cyf Chairman, on David's behalf at the RFSExcellence in Forestry Awards at Leighton, Powys.

The subsequent sad news of David's death on 11 August is a loss to forestry and the RFS sends commiserations to his family.

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Nic Wheeler OBE receives the Sylva Trophy from RFS Vice President Sophie Churchill OBE and Sir Jack Whitaker

Presenting the award, RFS Vice President Sophie Churchill OBE  praised Coed Cymru for their 'pioneering' approach to forestry across Wales.

David was unwell and unable to make the event but Nic said: " Wherever you go in Wales you will meet woodland owners who will tell you that David's approach has made a difference to how they go about managing their woodlands. However, typical of the man, he has specifically asked me to make sure that everyone knows that this trophy is as much for the whole team and the work they do, as it is for himself."

The trophy, awarded annually by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) was donated by Patrick Evelyn, a direct descendent of John Evelyn, author of the seminal 17th century ‘Sylva or a Discourse of Forest-trees and the propagation of Timber’.

David Jenkins went to school in Cowbridge, obtained a BSc in Applied Zoology from Reading University and initially joined the water industry, becoming a Senior Fisheries Officer.

In 1988, David was appointed Director at Coed Cymru, based at Tregynon and reporting to the Coed Cymru Partnership, and Coed Cymru Cyf, the charity arm.

His remit was as wide as the organisation, centring around improving the management and quality of the woodland estate in Wales, through working with farmers and landowners and developing products related to the Welsh scene.

The hallmarks of his contribution over more than a quarter of a century have been his drive and innovation, always ahead of the game, and delivered through a multidisciplinary team, and an ever growing network covering the farming community, academia, private business and public and local authorities. Research and product development has covered everything from fish passes to house building systems; more than 35,000 hectares of woodlands has been brought into management, and the role and profile of timber and wood products placed firmly on the Welsh agenda.

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Sylva Trophy celebrations for Coed Cymru

David is married with two children, a fluent Welsh speaker and accomplished woodcarver. He has travelled extensively and hosted innumerable visits from abroad, inspiring all who have met him by his passion and knowledge of woodlands, forestry and the timber industry.