Winners in Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2021

Tilhill is celebrating after winning the best New Commercial Wood in the Quality Timber Awards category at the 2021 Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards which recognise excellence in forests, woodlands and forest-related projects across Scotland.

The winning property, Larriston, located in Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders is managed by our Central Border’s Team. Jason Sinden of Gresham House, spoke of the Award on behalf of the owner Mrs J C Hands, and Forest Manager, Andrew Fisher represented Tilhill.

Larriston is a 560 hectare property planted during 2016 and 2017. In total the planting used 1.3 million trees and incorporated 80,000 broadleaves and 127 ha (c. 340,000) of Vegetatively propagated Sitka spruce. These trees were specially targeted to the better soils, where browsing pressures (from neighbouring mature forests) are lesser. This ensured the best was made of the more sensitive planting stock. The owner’s objective was to establish a productive woodland, with the right species on the right soil to maximise timber production and sequester carbon. Within this broad objective, every effort was made to minimise or offset adverse impacts on the archaeological, landscape, ecological and hydrological resources of the site.


Judges at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards said of the Larriston entry: “Wow is probably the best word to describe our [the judges’] feelings about this woodland. The scheme represents professional commercial forestry at its absolute best. It is rare to see schemes of this size coming in and the commitment to deliver it in the way it has been done is outstanding.

The judges were extremely impressed by the local manager, Andrew Fisher, who had gone above and beyond to deliver this scheme.”

“It was clear that a huge amount of professional time and effort has gone into the design and delivery of this large scheme. The judges felt every aspect of the scheme had been considered carefully and consulted upon. This is one of the largest coniferous plantations created in recent years and is unashamedly focused on high quality timber production.”

Tilhill’s Forestry Director, David Edwards said of the win: “I am absolutely delighted that Tilhill has once again been announced as winners at the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards. I am extremely proud of the hard work and effort that has been put into both the winning properties on behalf of our clients. Congratulations to everyone involved and in particular, Andrew Fisher as Larriston’s Forest Manager.”

Angela Douglas, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, the independent charity that runs the annual Awards programme in an impressive partnership with 18 organisations, said: “The strength of the awards depends on maintaining very high standards and recognising entries that truly deserve the title ‘finest woods’.

“After the Covid cancellation in 2020, I’m delighted we have been able to bounce back with such a high-quality programme – and I would especially like to thank our 23 volunteer judges who put in so much work in difficult circumstances to ensure the quality standard was maintained.

“The breadth and variety of entries this year goes to show that trees, woods and forests are valued and enjoyed by as well as providing all sorts of benefits for everyone all over Scotland. The future looks very secure in the next generation’s hands.”


For more information please visit: www.sfwa.co.uk.