If you go down to the woods today…

If you go down to the woods today – you might realise there’s an award with your name waiting to go on it.

The 2013 Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards scheme is on the look out for nominees for the four categories of awards that aim to recognise and reward those who use, promote or manage Scotland’s woods and forests to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.

Looking sideways here at the announcement this morning [22 February] of the Colintraive and Glendarual community’s acquisition of Stronafian Forest, it looks like a serious candidate.

There are four category awards – featuring seven competitions:

The Schools Award – is open to secondary, primary, pre-school and special schools that have been involved in practical or desk-based projects connected with woodlands. This award includes a cash prize of £500 for the winner and $250 for the runner-up.

The Community Woodlands Award – is for community-based projects and features two separate competitions: one for projects with a ‘health and wellbeing’ focus and a second for those focusing on ‘economic development and regeneration’. The Tim Stead Trophy and £2,000 of prize money to be won.

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

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

Scotland’s Finest Woods is an independent charity, relying on the generosity of its supporters to stage this premier woodland awards programme. This year’s key partners are: BSW Timber, Egger Forestry, Forest Education Initiative, Forestry Commission Scotland, Iggesund Forestry, James Jones & Sons Ltd, Scottish Woodlands Ltd, UPM Tilhill and Woodland Trust Scotland.

Peter Wilson, CEO of the Scotland’s Finest Woods scheme, says:

‘Once again, we are setting out to showcase all that is best in the management of Scotland’s woods and forests.

‘We’ve made this year’s awards more open by changing eligibility criteria and by expanding our Scotland-wide Community Woodlands Awards to include two distinct competitions for ‘healthy lifestyles’ and ‘viable livelihoods’.

‘Our judges will be seeking out and rewarding the pursuit of excellence and there’s nearly £7,000 of prize money to be won so don’t be shy, enter your woodland project today and be part of it.’

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

Deadline: Entries must be received by 31st March 2013.

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