Environment Minister announces woodland winners 2015

Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod, presented this year’s Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards today (Friday 19 June) during a visit to the Royal Highland Show, Ingliston.

Run by independent charity, Scotland's Finest Woods, the awards celebrate the contribution that woodlands make to the people, environment and economic prosperity of Scotland.

Four award categories that cover a wide range of woodland options are open for businesses, schools, organisations or individuals to enter.

This year’s winners include woodland projects from Knoydart, Glasgow, Milnathort and Dingwall.

Dr McLeod, said;

“Forestry is an intrinsic part of life and business in Scotland yet they can often be overlooked or taken for granted by many people. As well as being safe havens for wildlife and great places for people of all ages to de-stress, have fun and enjoy some active leisure, woodlands are, of course, the mainstay of our burgeoning forestry and timber processing sector.

“In fact, woodlands are such a multi-faceted resource that it is difficult to list the many ways that they contribute – and the many benefits they bring - to our quality of life, our communities, our environment and our economy.

"Sustaining, maintaining and expanding this resource is the work of dedicated, passionate people who often work away quietly behind the scenes over many years.

“These awards recognise all of that hard work and celebrate outstanding contributions to the creation and management of Scotland’s finest woods.”

In addition to receiving trophies and prize monies, all winners receive a specially commissioned cherry wood commemorative plaque engraved with their winning details to keep.

This year’s award winners were:

Community Woodlands Awards:

• Knoydart Forest Trust - ‘Promoting Viable Livelihoods’ and overall community woodlands’ category winner, awarded The Tim Stead Trophy and £1,000 prize money.

• Glasgow City Council for Castlemilk Park (Promoting Healthy Lifestyles category, awarded £1,000 prize money

New Native Woods Award

• The John Muir Trust for Li and Coire Dhorrcail Woodlands, Knoydart - Awarded The Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy and £1,000 prize money

Schools Award

• Dingwall Academy and Evanton Community Woods, Ross-shire - awarded the Crown Estate trophy and £500 prize money together with a special tree pack for planting or tree growing kits and a magnifying post, a ‘Mag Post’, for exploring the natural world. 

Quality Timber Award

• The Church Commissioners for England for Warroch Hill, Near Milnathort – New Commercial Woodlands awarded the James Jones Trophy and £1,000.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. A partnership to run an annual awards programme was first established in 1985. Since 2005 the awards programme has been managed by a not-for-profit company which introduced new award categories for community woodlands and schools in 2006, for new native woods in 2011 and for new commercial woods in 2012.  The company is a registered charity.
  3. Scotland's Finest Woods' key delivery partners in 2015 are: Forestry Commission Scotland, BSW Timber Group, Egger Forestry, Iggesund Forestry, James Jones & Sons Ltd, Outdoor & Woodland Learning Scotland, Scottish Woodlands Ltd, UPM Tilhill, Woodland Trust Scotland.
  4. The following have also generously contributed to the running of the awards programme in 2015: Alba Trees, Caledonia Play, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, Community Woodlands Association, Confor, Institute of Chartered Foresters, Royal Scottish Forestry Society.
  5. Tha FCS pàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba; a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìon, a' cumail smachd air, agus a' leudachadh choilltean gus buannachdan a choileanadh dha coimhearsnachdan, dhan eaconamaidh agus ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh sa ghnàth-shìde.
  6. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or or Angela Douglas (Executive Director, Scotland's Finest Woods) on 07969 327015