Writing Prizes at The Houses of Parliament

Winning Prizes at The Houses of Parliament

Rob Coltman and David Pelly of Tilhill Forestry were both announced joint-third winners at Confor’s Future of Forestry Writing event held on 20th November at the Houses of Parliament. The competition, sponsored by Tilhill Forestry, was designed to celebrate the contribution of young professionals and students to the forestry profession. Rob and David each received a prize of £100 for their winning entries.

Young professionals were asked to submit their essay’s for a writing competition on ‘How can forestry and wood processing help deliver a Green Brexit and a more sustainable society in the UK?’ 

Chris Davies, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) opened the event with attendances from local MP’s of the shortlisted writers alongside David Rutley, Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who presented the awards to the four winners.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: “We were delighted with the response to the competition and there could have been many more winners from the entries received. It was fantastic to see all four winners at Westminster to receive their prizes. They were excellent young ambassadors for our industry – thoughtful, articulate and passionate about the future of forestry.” 

South East England Assistant Forest Manager Rob Coltman’s essay discussed new forests and their management for the future. Rob commented on his prize: “The Future of Forestry reception held in Parliament was an absolute pleasure to attend – made all the more so by winning a prize. The event highlighted to me how forestry groups and individuals from across the UK are discussing the challenges of the 21st century and how our industry can rise to them. I’m glad the competition acknowledged new, young voices coming into the sector, as I think this is essential to maintain the momentum our industry has going forward. Thank you to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry, Confor and Tilhill Forestry for organising the event and providing the opportunity to take part.”



David Pelly, Investment Forester in Scotland’s essay talked of Brexit and the demand for diversification and our reliance on Sitka Spruce. David commented on the event: “The event was an excellent opportunity for young foresters to not only meet those that have shaped the industry to date, but also have a platform to share their opinions. A truly excellent evening.”



You can read both Rob’s and David’s articles via the Confor website.

The overall winner was Lorna Johnson, who is doing her Masters on Conservation and Forest and is now a graduate agricultural consultant with ADAS. She won first place with her essay on the role forestry could play in protecting the UK’s natural resources. You can read Lorna’s piece on the Confor’s website  . It will also appear in Confor’s magazine Forestry and Timber News in the February 2019 edition.

Sandy Davidson, a Forest Management student at the Scottish School of Forestry in Inverness, took second place with his essay on embracing the potential for trees and woodlands to be used for local environmental benefits.

Tilhill Forestry’s Business Development Director, Peter Whitfield also attended the event and said “It was a fantastic event that, maybe for the first time, introduced some young professional blood into the APPG event. It showed how our up and coming talented professionals have some well thought through and reasoned ideas to add to the future of forestry in the UK.”