Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards

These awards celebrate the contribution that woodlands can make to the people, environment and economic prosperity of Scotland

Climate, Community, Forestry and Farming at the Heart of Scotland’s Finest Woods 2024

Climate, Community, Forestry and Farming at the Heart of Scotland’s Finest Woods 2024

Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards are back for 2024 after a wonderful celebration in 2023. And this year four key areas form the focus of the prestigious Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards – climate, community, forestry and farming.

The environment is central to everything the awards are about and the competition for the Climate Change Champion Trophy promises a strong field. Last year The Future Forest Company for Dumyat, near Stirling, took the prize with a “multi-use forest for the future”, which saw great examples of carbon sequestration, enhancing biodiversity and providing for communities.

Jean Nairn, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, said: “Forestry and agriculture play a vital role in the rural economy of Scotland and we are proud to celebrate that in our awards. But they are also an important player in the nation’s attempts to move to net zero and tackle climate change – helping the environment not only in reducing CO2 but also reducing the risk of flooding and protecting vital peatland habitats, as well as helping agriculture thrive.

“Last year it was great to see lots of community involvement, from both young and old, in the awards and we are expecting for the same again in 2024. It is vital the fight against climate change involves all sectors of society so everyone can help mitigate, educate and adapt to the challenges we face in Scotland and across the globe.

Across Scotland we know there are inspirational people who are making a difference through their commitment to the woodlands they own, manage and volunteer in. This is the chance to celebrate them.

The great work of communities was highlighted last year by the winners of the Tim Stead Trophy for the overall Community Woodland Award – Friends of Almondell & Calderwood with West Lothian Council for Almondell Woods.

The winner of the Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy for New Native Woods was Martyn’s Wood, Crannich, Isle of Mull – which created an area of biodiversity on inhospitable ground and was planted in the memory of the nephew of owner Robin Sedgwick.

Meanwhile, Fordyce Primary School near Portsoy in Aberdeenshire took home the Crown Estate Scotland Schools’ Trophy.

And the winner of the Scottish Forestry Early Years’ Trophy was Bushcraft Bairns at Comrie Croft, Perthshire who created a Forest School setting that nurtures connection with nature through play.

Forestry and farming form a bedrock for the awards with vital work in integrating trees into the Scottish landscape, to benefit wood production and agriculture, as well as the environment. This year we are excited to announce a new sponsor for one of the 11 competitions – the Farm Woodland Award Whole Farm / Croft, which comes with the magnificent Lilburn Trophy for an active farmer/crofter anywhere in Scotland, will be sponsored by Fountains Forestry UK Ltd. Without sponsors and supporters there would be no annual awards and the organisers are grateful for the new and continued support.

A brilliant example of agroforestry using pigs won David Carruth the Scottish Woodlands Farm Woodland Trophy for Young People in 2023 for his work at Brodoclea, Dalry, North Ayrshire for The Future Forest Company.

And the icing on the cake for the Quality Timber Awards was the highly coveted Dulverton Flagon, an occasional award given at the judges’ discretion for a successful balance between commercial forestry and competing objectives. It was given to Ardachuple, in a National Scenic Area at the Kyles of Bute, Cowal – owned by Bamberg Ltd and managed by Tilhill.

The Scottish Government continues to support ambitious tree planting targets and organisers are hoping for another exceptional set of winners in 2024.

Last year, Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform & Islands, presented the awards. She said: “The awards are a great opportunity to showcase Scotland’s woodlands and the very people who work tirelessly to manage and care for them.

“There’s a great variety of awards involving best practice in farm woodlands, climate change, community involvement, right through to schools and native woodlands.

“I would certainly welcome and encourage all those to enter the awards and help make the 2024 event another big success.”

The full list of awards are open to anyone with a high-quality project, whether that be a school or pre-school nursery, a forestry business – small or large, an expert forester, farmer or crofter, and a community woodland.

Guy Watt, Chair of Scotland’s Finest Woods, the charity which operates the programme, said: “It was a pleasure to once again be at the Royal Highland Show to celebrate some wonderful work being done across Scotland. This year is already looking set to be a great success.

“It is important we celebrate and champion the environment as well as the community and commercial work which contributes to a wonderful diversity of woodlands in our country.

“Praise should also go to the judges, whose knowledge and guidance are vital to producing an awards programme that is of the highest excellence. We should also thank entrants for taking the time and effort to take part in what is a fantastic celebration of trees, woodland and forestry in all its forms.”

Entries must be submitted by 23:59 on Sunday March 31, 2024. For full details, criteria and entry forms see:

For more information and all media inquiries please contact Nick Drainey at or 07711441707



David Carruth Brodoclea Woodland Farm, near Dalry / The Future Forest Company

An innovative example of agroforestry using pigs to help grow a forest won David Carruth the Scottish Woodlands Farm Woodland – Young People Trophy at the 2023 Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards.

David, from Brodoclea Woodland Farm, near Dalry, in North Ayrshire, which is owned and managed by The Future Forest Company, works with a herd of 163 Mangalitza pigs.

The pigs manage the forest by grazing down the dominant species on the forest floor, allowing other species of plants and young trees to thrive.

To maximise their effectiveness in this role, David uses a system of adaptive “mob” grazing, keeping the pigs in large groups and grazing them through twenty separate 25-acre forest paddocks.

David added: “Pigs are just brilliant for the woodland, they are the ultimate eco-system engineers … it makes your wood more resilient in a changing world.

“I grew up in dairy farming and it was always said that farming was difficult. I am studying environmental science and have found a way back into farming.”

He hopes more young people can enter farming and that his accolade from Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2023 will be an inspiration: “When you get young people on the land with creative ideas you can solve a lot of the problems of our time.

“Winning at the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards has helped get me known, boosted my confidence to do more and hopefully made some young folk think about going into agroforestry.”

You can learn more about his work on this video:

David’s early years were spent on two family dairy farms in Renfrewshire. It was his grandfather’s love of nature that led him to volunteering in conservation and habitat creation across the world; from Norway to Canada, Tanzania to the Peruvian Amazon.

This work, and his ongoing degree in environmental science, have allowed David a better understanding of how the global climate and ecological crisis translates down to a local level.

Now, with The Future Forest Company at Brodoclea, he has returned to hills and glens where he grew up.