The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is, for many people, a place of remembrance and quiet reflection. But it can also be a place of celebration, and thus a perfect venue for the RFS Excellence in Forestry “Best of the Best” Awards.
Between 2016 and 2021, with Covid-19 forcing a break in 2020, the awards moved around the country on a regional basis, eventually covering all of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. In 2022, the winners in each category from every region were invited to compete to be crowned “Best of the Best”.
FSC UK is proud to sponsor the Small and Farm Woodlands Award, and our Forest Standards Manager, Dr Owen Davies, was lucky enough to attend the presentation event at the arboretum.
“We firmly believe that responsible forest management is for everyone, regardless of how big or small their woodland is,” says Owen. “This award category certainly shows that there is no size limit on excellence!”
Second prize in the Small and Farm Woodlands Award went to Will and Sue Wilkinson for Broomhill Wood, Gloucestershire, while first prize went to David Brown and Ruth Pybus for Bron Haul near Abergele, Conwy. You can find more information about the winning woodlands on the RFS website.
“This isn’t just about recognising the excellence of individual woodland owners,” notes Owen. “It’s also about showing what’s possible, to inspire others. I’d encourage everyone to learn about the great work going on in these woods.”
The Royal Forestry Society is dedicated to learning. As well as the awards presentation, attendees enjoyed an introduction to and tour of the National Memorial Arboretum, and a fascinating and inspiring talk by John Everitt on the National Forest.
And, of course, as well as celebrating there was also time for remembering. Among the memorials to the armed forces, emergency services and others, the National Memorial Arboretum also hosts a tribute to the lumberjills who worked so hard in the nation’s forests in the Second World War.