New award will recognise farm woodlands

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The finest farm woodlands in Scotland are being asked to step forward as part of a national awards programme.

Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards, which recognise excellent management and the creation of new woodlands, have added a Farm Woodland Award for 2018.

Any farm where tree planting or woodland management has made an important contribution to the farm business and/or the local environment is encouraged to enter.

The winner will receive the magnificent Lilburn Trophy and £1,000 cash, thanks to joint support from the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) and Scottish Woodlands Ltd.

Farm woodlands entering the award will be used in a ‘sustainable and potentially enterprising way with responsible management providing direct farming benefits’.

This might include:

·      generating income from sustainably managed woods;

·      using biomass, woodfuel or wood chips on site or selling them as renewable, clean energy;

·      creating new woods to offset carbon produced from agricultural operations;

·      using woodland for livestock shelter, sporting interests or other amenity use.

Martin Kennedy, vice-president of the National Farmers’ Union Scotland, said: ‘This is an exciting innovation in the awards programme and presents a real opportunity for high-quality farm woodlands which have shown a truly integrated approach to land management. I look forward to some excellent entries.’

The award is open to active farmers anywhere in Scotland. The area of woodland must be two hectares (five acres) or more in size, with tree canopy cover (or the potential to achieve this for young woodland) of at least 20 per cent. Any young woodland must have had at least five years of growth.

Other awards to be presented at the  Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards  ceremony at the Royal Highland Show will be made to Scotland’s finest Community Woodlands, New Native Woodlands and Quality Timber, in addition to the Schools Award.

The deadline for entries is March 31. For full details, and to download an entry form, go to awards-2018/