Forestry awards for Northumberland woodland and Scouts

1st Whittingham BP Scout Group
1st Whittingham BP Scout Group

An area of woodland and a Scout group in north Northumberland have scooped top awards in England’s premier forestry competition.

At the Royal Forestry Society’s (RFS) Excellence in Forestry Awards, Ford and Etal Estates’ Ford Westfield Woods, owned by Lord and Lady Joicey, took silver in the RFS Silviculture Award.

The judges said: “Work throughout was of a high standard, clearly based on a good knowledge of site variation across the estate.”

The owners said: “The Joicey family and the rest of the Estate forestry team are delighted to receive this award.

“Our forestry team is something which the Estate is extremely proud of, as it gives the opportunity to manage the habitats and timber resource on the Estate closely and with real flexibility depending on site conditions.

“Moreover, alongside our sawmill, the department provides employment to a number of staff members and supports the local rural economy and society, something which is highly important to the Estate.”

Highly commended in the Education and Learning category was the 1st Whittingham Baden Powell Scout Group.

The judges said: “Ranging from the identification of tree species, through the building of small-scale products through to visits to local sawmills, the project demonstrated an empathy with the principles of sustainable forest management that could be encouraged and emulated elsewhere.”

Scoutmaster Ninette Gray said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be recognised for our work in the outdoors. Our volunteers are fully committed to helping local children develop a love and respect for woodlands and forests by offering them fun and educational experiences in that environment.”