An annual opportunity to reward and showcase the contribution of Scotland’s woods and forests to the health and wealth of communities has begun.
Last year’s winners came from a huge geographical area, from the Borders Forest Trust Carrifran Wildwood Group in the south to the Airor Common Grazings in Knoydart in the northwest.
There was also a variation in the types of winners, from Scotland’s largest productive planting scheme of the modern era (at Jerah, near Menstrie, Clackmannanshire) to a primary school in South Lanarkshire.
Angela Douglas, executive director of Scotland’s Finest Woods said: “We have some of the world’s finest quality forests and woods in Scotland and our annual programme sets out to find them and reward them for their excellence.
“That involves showcasing everything from educating children about the wonder of woodlands to rewarding highly skilled forest management, excellent community woodland projects, superb new native and commercial woodland creation, and the production of quality timber.”
The winners are honoured at an annual Awards presentation at the Royal Highland Show in June.
Applications are now open for 2018 with almost £7,000 (~€7,960) of prize money to be won.
There are seven awards in four categories, these include, the Quality Timber Awards focus on growing timber of a high standard in three categories covering everything from a ‘stand’ or small group of trees right through to a whole forest or estate.
The New Native Woods Award is awarded for the skilled delivery of high-quality young native woods.
The Crown Estate Schools Trophy, rewards projects that increase young people’s understanding and appreciation of the environmental, social and economic potential of trees, woodlands and forests and the link between trees and wooden products.
The Large Community Woodland Award – for community and urban woodlands or other social projects which demonstrate sustainable development involving the community with their environment.