THERE was double delight for two forestry trainees at a recent awards ceremony – as they both picked up prizes. 

Kevin Pearson and Harry Evans were honoured at last month’s Lantra Scotland’s ALBAS (Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills), fighting off tough competition from across the country. 

Kevin, from Ballingry in Fife, claimed the Trees and Timber Learner of the Year gong, while Harry secured the Higher Education Award HNC. 

“Winning an ALBAS award has been a great experience,” Kevin, who works as a Forestry Apprentice at Rural Skills Scotland, said. “I’d like to thank Lantra Scotland for presenting me with this award, and my tutors at Rural Skills Scotland for nominating me and supporting me on my journey.”

Meanwhile, Beauly’s Harry, studying Arboriculture and Urban Forestry at the Scottish School of Forestry UHI Inverness, finished as runner-up in the Trees and Timber category, but still had plenty to celebrate. 

Forestry Journal: Harry EvansHarry Evans (Image: Supplied)

He said: “Thanks to Neil Cleland for nominating me, and my other tutors at UHI, Lantra Scotland and to everyone who has supported me along the way. It’s been great to pick up this award.”

More than 200 finalists, event supporters, employers, training providers and industry leaders attended a glittering award ceremony, including Jim Fairlie MSP, Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity.

After an opening address by Mr Fairlie, awards were presented by the evening’s host, the Red Shepherdess, otherwise known as Hannah Jackson. 

Industry awards were presented for agriculture, aquaculture, equine, environmental conservation, game and wildlife, horticulture, land-based engineering, trees and timber, and veterinary nursing.

Mr Fairlie said: “It was great to witness all the hard work of the winners and nominees acknowledged by these awards. 

“The breadth of skills across all aspects of our land-based and aquaculture sectors is truly impressive and vital to continuing to support and celebrate rural life in Scotland.”

To find out more about the ALBAS, visit