John Boddy Trophy
The John Boddy Award celebrates and rewards excellence in forestry creation, design and management in Yorkshire. In 2023 the focus was on community woodlands.
Pictured: York Community Woodlands receives the 2023 John Boddy Award. Laura Redhead and Paul McCabe from York City Council with Crispin Thorn, Yorkshire & North East Area Director, Forestry Commission and Great Yorkshire Show Director, Charles Mills
The Award is organised and judged by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Royal Forestry Society and Forestry Commission. It is presented at the Great Yorkshire Show.
York Community Woodland is owned by the City of York Council and tenanted by Forestry England. It was established on 78ha of land on the city’s urban fringe in 2020.
The woodland aims to sequestrate residual carbon, enhance biodiversity and improve the health and wellbeing of residents. More than 400 local people and 30 local stakeholder groups with specialist skills and interests took part in the design process.
Ben Scotting, the chairman of the Yorkshire Division of the Royal Forestry Society, said: ” The York Community Woodland is a sizable undertaking. It is well-connected to the city through a well-used cycleway and bridleways.
“The judges were also impressed by the thought that had gone into creating woodlands. This has minimised the use of plastic tree tubes and provided an environment in which the newly planted trees can thrive on former arable fields while protected from deer browsing. This type of thinking is key as managers of woodlands look for plastic-free alternatives into the future.”
Three other schemes were named as finalists. These were:
- Crossfield Lane, City of Doncaster Council;
- Peat Rigg, Tees Valley Community Foundation c/o Peat Rigg Outdoor Centre; and
- Queen Elizabeth II Community Woodland, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
In 2022, the focus was on woodland creation. It was won by the 160ha Broughton Sanctuary scheme.
The scheme is part of an ambitious nature recovery programme to transform a third of the 1,200 hectare estate. New woodlands are increasing diversity, providing a high-quality retreat for visitors.They are also reducing flood risk further down the Aire catchment, as far as Leeds City Centre.
Funding and support were provided by the White Rose Forest via the England’s Community Forests Trees for Climate programme. The programme is part of the Government’s Nature for Climate fund.
Entries were judged by Tim Tolliss of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Ben Scotting of the Royal Forestry Society and Sam Cooper of the Forestry Commission. They were impressed by the scale, vision, and professionalism of the Broughton Sanctuary scheme.