A Scottish farmer who is diversifying into sawmilling was the top student to take part in Woodland Heritage’s From Woodland to Workshop training course in 2018.

Neil Girvan is a partner on the family farm in the Cheviot Uplands of the Scottish Borders. Extending to 850 acres (including 60 acres of woodland), Neil is hoping to develop its forestry management by establishing an oak woodland on the farm, as well adding value by increasing their timber processing by cutting and drying more hardwood timber in their own sawmill.

The unanimous tutors’ choice on last year’s course, Neil received the Prince of Wales Award at Woodland Heritage’s recent field weekend.

Guy Corbett-Marshall, Woodland Heritage’s chief executive, said: “Neil had read about our From Woodland to Workshop courses many times and was keen to take part. For him, an important element of our course was measuring timber and learning about the drying process, as well as spending a whole day in the Duchy’s Timberline and Mary Glover woodlands.”

The next From Woodland to Workshop course is planned for 23–25 September.