THE Forest Forum held at Lodge Farm, Markfield, on 17 September offered the ideal opportunity to present the winners of the National Forest’s Woodland Management Awards with the engraved timber discs commemorating their achievements.

Fittingly, it had been a pyrographer – one who etches graphics into timber with fire – who had recorded the names of the woodlands and woodlanders that were to take the titles for 2019.

The competition was launched in July and allowed candidates almost two months to prepare their bids before preliminary selection took place. In early September, site visits by the small team of adjudicators would make the final choice and decide the winners of the four categories. 

The Forest of the Year Award went to the Bradgate Park Trust for their all-round excellent management of Swithland Wood. Dr Sheila Smith was presented with the Wildlife Award for the work undertaken in the Brook House ‘Changing Landscapes Scheme’. On behalf of the Woodland Trust, David Logan picked up the Forest for the People Award. The winning woodland was the Trust’s Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood.

There was still one trophy left to be handed over. The NFC Silva Award recognises woodland owners that show exemplary silvicultural management with a view to achieving high timber quality. Innovative forestry practice and timber product marketing come into the reckoning. This year it was won by Grangewood Farm and Forestry of Swadlincote in Derbyshire.