Tilhill Forestry is celebrating after winning the New Commercial Woodlands trophy in the Quality Timber Award category at the 2017 Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards which honour the outstanding contributions made by woodland to people, the environment and the economy.
The winning property, Jerah, located in Sheriffmuir, Dunblane is owned by Mr John Hartz and managed by Tilhill Forestry who were presented with the James Jones Trophy by Jo O’Hara, Head of Forestry Commission Scotland.
Jerah is the largest modern planting site in Scotland with 1.3 million trees having been planted in 2015. As well as providing a significant future timber crop, Jerah was designed to deliver a range of public benefits, including encouraging biodiversity, reducing flood risk and enhancing public access.
Tim Liddon, Director of Forestry for Tilhill, said: “To have our work at Jerah recognised in this way is tremendous. The team has worked incredibly hard and continues to do so on this project which has been a win-win for the local community and the owner.”
Judges at Scotland’s Finest Woods, the independent charity which operates the awards programme, said the quality of the 2017 winners was “exceptional”. They added: “This high-quality scheme is the product of intuitive design, effective consultation and exemplary silvicultural practice. Four hundred hectares of well-establishing commercial forest is very welcome at the industry level especially when it is integrated with a network of well-connected environmental planting and an extensive area of imaginatively managed open space.
“Efforts to inform and work with the local community are commendable and have been very successful. In addition, to the commercial gains this scheme has significantly enhanced the recreational and environmental assets of this historic location.”
The awards were presented at the Royal Highland Show by Fergus Ewing MSP, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity. He said: “Forestry and timber is worth £1 billion annually to Scotland’s economy and employs more than 25,000 people – but its wider social, educational and environmental value to communities and individuals is incalculable.
“The people who win these Awards are passionate and united by a desire to sustain, maintain, expand and most importantly enjoy our forests and woodland. It is fantastic that Scotland’s Finest Woods recognises and celebrates the contribution that people from across Scotland make in their hard work to support their local communities and the environment.”
Angela Douglas, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, said: “The exceptional quality and the variety of the entries in 2017 highlights the enormous value of forestry and woodland to Scotland’s economy, environment and communities. The judges were very satisfied that the 2017 prizes have gone to what can justifiably be described as Scotland’s finest woods.”
In addition to receiving trophies and prize money, all winners receive a specially commissioned cherry wood commemorative plaque engraved with their winning details to keep, and a certificate.
Image shows Darrell Boult, Tilhill Forestry Senior Forest Manager, accepting the Trophy from Jo O’Hara.