Hunt on for Winning Woods

Schools, communities and individuals across Scotland are being urged to find out if their woodland is one of the best by entering the 2016 Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards.

Now open for applications, the Awards are an annual celebration that recognises and rewards the people and communities that use, promote, own or manage Scotland's woods and forests to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.

Angela Douglas Executive Director of Scotland's Finest Woods, said:

“We, at Scotland’s Finest Woods, want to recognise the very best of Scotland woods, their management and all they can offer.

“The forestry industry is obviously an important focus but we are just as keen to highlight the amazing projects being carried out by schools, communities and even individuals around the country.

“We really enjoy finding and celebrating all the hard work that goes on in woodlands, often over many years, and I am delighted that once again communities and schools have the chance to become an Award winner.

“Last year we had entries from locations all across Scotland – from the western Isles to the Scottish Borders and from Sutherland to the heart of Glasgow!

“With the applications round for 2016 now open - and a total of £7,000 of prize money to be won - I encourage anyone with a woodland project to get online and enter the competition today!"

There are four category awards – featuring seven competitions! The Schools Award is open to secondary, primary, pre-school and special schools anywhere in Scotland that have been involved in any projects involved with trees, woodlands or forestry. This award includes a cash prize of £500 for the winner together with a beautifully carved ‘squirrel’ trophy and £250 for the runner-up as well as exciting prize activities to be carried out by children once back at school.

The Community Woodlands Award is for community-based woodland related projects from any part of Scotland and features two separate competitions - one for projects with a 'health and wellbeing' focus and a second for those focusing on promoting 'viable livelihoods with an economic development and regeneration' focus. The striking Tim Stead Trophy and £2,000 of prize money is available to be won.

The New Native Woods Award is for new native woodland projects – and is rewarded with the unique Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy and £1,000 of prize money.      

The industry focused, Quality Timber Awards focuses on growing quality timber and has three competitions - newly-planted commercial woods; a single-stands or compartment or small wood; or whole estates/large multi-purpose forests.  Three magnificent trophies and £3,000 of prize money have to be won.

Those active in the forest industry are invited to apply by Christmas before getting too busy with planting programmes. However, entries are accepted up to 31st March 2016.

Any entries after 31 March 2016 will not be considered.

Full details, including entry criteria and entry forms, are available at Scotland's Finest Woods Awards where you can also register your interest in entering the Awards.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Scotland's Finest Woods is an independent charity and relies on the generosity of supporters to stage Scotland's premier woodland awards programme. This year's key Delivery Partners are: BSW Timber, Egger Forestry, Forestry Commission Scotland, Iggesund Forestry, James Jones & Sons Ltd, Outdoor Woodland & Learning Scotland, Scottish Woodlands Ltd, UPM Tilhill and Woodland Trust Scotland.
  5. Entries to the prestigious Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards can come from anywhere in Scotland. The panel of volunteer judges will assess competitive entries to select the winners in each category who are invited to a special ceremony at the Royal Highland Show that will take place on Friday, 24th June 2016
  6. Media enquiries to Angela Douglas, Scotland's Finest Woods Awards, 07969 327015 or 01337 870208 or 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.