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New Woodland Management Award for Top Quality Work in The National Forest

Tuesday, 26th July 2016

The National Forest Company (NFC) has established a new Woodland Management Award to recognise examples of outstanding woodland management taking place within the 200 square miles of the Forest.

The Awards are being introduced this year as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of The National Forest.  Since 1991, over 7,000 hectares of new woodlands have been created, increasing woodland cover in the Forest from 6% to over 20%, roughly double the national average.  Over half the National Forest woodlands are now under active management, as landowners increasingly recognise the importance of looking after the woods once they are planted.

It is vital that woods are managed in order to:

  • produce the best timber;
  • keep the rides (pathways and trails) clear from undergrowth and invasive trees so that people can access the woods easily and enjoy walking and spending time there;
  • open up the canopy to encourage wildflowers and wildlife;
  • and to make them more resilient to pests and diseases and the effects of climate change.

Simon West, Head of Forestry for the NFC, said:  "Although there are a number of other woodland awards, this will be the first to exclusively recognise top quality work within The National Forest.  Hundreds of new woodlands have been planted here over the last 25 years – and with our partners we are still planting more – but the importance of good management cannot be stressed highly enough.  Our landowners and communities in the Forest are doing some excellent work, and it seemed fitting, as we reach our first quarter century, to establish an award scheme to recognise and promote the quality of much that is taking place here in the Forest."

The Award

The award will have three categories covering key aspects of the important work within the Forest:

  • Award for creation of new woodlands (10 years or younger)
  • Award for woodland management (over 10 years)
  • Award for community woodland management

Applications under each category will be scored against a range of criteria such as quality of silviculture, enhancement of landscape, public access, nature conservation and contribution to woodland economy, by a small panel of judges and the award will go to the woodland which demonstrates the highest quality of woodland management in the Forest.  There will be an Awards event with presentations to the successful woodland owners or their representatives in late autumn 2016 – further details will be available shortly.

Woodland owners and managers are encouraged to submit their schemes under the Award by 16 September 2016.  Application forms and other details can be found on the National Forest website at

For further information, contact Simon West or Charles Robinson at the National Forest Company on 01283 551211.