A Northern Powerhouse of Woodlands

From encouraging forestry microbusinesses to inspiring children and empowering young people, our Excellence in Forestry Awards 2023 show projects across the North of England leading the way.

By Wendy Necar · October 26, 2023

Pictured: Congratulations to all our winners, and our thanks to all our sponsors and judges

Presenting the Awards at Ushaw House in Durham, Royal Forestry Society President Ben Herbert says: “These awards have uncovered some truly remarkable projects from which others around the country will be able to learn.

“They range from an estate in Cumbria encouraging a local economy where more people work in forestry than farming, to a Community Interest Company in Gateshead which is supporting young people into careers they never thought possible. These awards are revealing how new thinking can transform woodlands and lives.”

Among the winners are Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley, whose Yorkshire based Hovingham Estate picked up silver in two categories. Unable to attend the presentations, he said:

 “I have enjoyed spending time in the woods at Hovingham ever since I was a child, and I hope that they will continue to be an attractive place for many years to come.  As well as producing quality timber, I have maintained the strong emphasis on amenity and biodiversity.

“The woodland has evolved over many years and we have aimed to create a balanced and resilient environment by planting in mixtures and leaving specific areas undisturbed.”

The full list of winners are:

Duke of Cornwall’s Award for Resilient Multi-Purpose Forestry

  • Gold: Witherslack Woodlands, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, owned by Nicholas Stanley
  • Silver: The Hovingham Estate woodlands, Hovingham, York, owned by Sir William Worsley and managed by Tilhill

Bede Howell Award for Excellence in Silviculture

  • Gold: Snowden Close near Brampton, Cumbria, owned by Ash Moss Limited, managed by Pryor & Rickett Silviculture
  • Silver: The Hovingham Estate woodlands, Hovingham, York, owned by Sir William Worsley and managed by Tilhill

Small & Farm Woodland of the Year Award 

  • Gold: Oaks Wood, Kendal, Cumbria, owned by Romola and Edward Acland
  • Silver: Hale Moss Wood and Meadows, Milnthorpe, straddling the Cumbria and Lancashire borders, owned by Roger and Nancy Cartwright

    Education & Learning Award 

    • Gold: Stomping Grounds Forest School, Chopwell, Gateshead, a North East Community Interest Company (CIC)
    • Silver: Canopy Learning, Cumbria Woodlands

    Community Woodland of the Year Award 

    • Gold: Gibside National Trust, Rowland’s Gill, Tyne and Wear
    • Silver: York Community Wood

    For more details on each of the winners, follow the category links above. The Excellence in Forestry Awards rotate around the country over five years. In 2024 they will be held across The Midlands and Eastern England.

    Our Thanks to all our Sponsors