Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards

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

Farm Woodland Award

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We are delighted to be running Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards in 2021!  Keep an eye on our News Page and Tweets where we will provide any updates about the Awards’ programme.   If you entered in 2020 you had the opportunity to update and refresh your entry submitted at that time ready for judging in 2021.

The Farm Woodland Award is jointly supported by SAC Consulting and Scottish Woodlands Ltd.

Our judges’ task is to find and reward the pursuit of excellence!

What was it for?

The Award is to reward the very best of Scotland’s Farm Woodlands that form part of good agricultural practice.  There will be exemplary use of both woodland and agricultural practice with benefits being delivered to both the farming/crofting operation and quality of woodland management.  There are two competitions.

Who could enter?

Entry was open to active farmers/crofters and/or for one competition their forester with the active farmer/crofter’s support, anywhere in Scotland.  The farm/croft must have a Rural Payments’ Business Reference Number (BRN) and the farmer/crofter must be directly involved, to a greater or lesser extent, with the farm/croft woodland management that forms part of the farming business and is to its benefit.  For the Young People competition so long as the farmer/crofter has a BRN and the entry was made with their prior agreement, the Young Person could be the forester/woodland manager only where they are different to the farmer/crofter.  Entries for this competition where both the farmer/crofter and forester are younger was especially welcomed.

There were two competitions and entrants could choose the one most applicable to them:

  • Young people where entry was open to the farmer/crofter and/or forester/woodland manager who at the time of the closing date was/were aged 16 years and under 41 years of age (i.e. the same age eligible for the Scottish Government Rural Payments – “Young Farmers” Scheme).  One person may fulfil both roles or there may be one or both of these roles where the person is 16-40 years old.  Whilst you will be younger you will be the person(s) considering the options for the land and its management demonstrating the integration of farming and woodlands/forestry by young people.  You will have significant influence on the way the farm/croft woodland is managed, ideally encouraging others to also manage farm/croft woodlands in a positive way.
  • All farm/croft woodlands that are located in Scotland that may be managed by one or more people, and there is no need to give your age!

What type of farm/croft woodland(s)?

The area of woodland must be 2 hectares (4.9 acres) or more in size, with tree canopy cover (or the potential to achieve this if a young woodland) of at least 20%.  It could be of any established tree species or woodland type and contain integral open space and/or woody shrubs or other farm crops/ground cover.  If the woodland was younger or of mixed age it may have been established by planting or natural regeneration on previously bare or cropped land or on land that has previously had tree cover.  Any young woodland must have had at least five years minimum of growth and could be of any older age.  Therefore if planted, that happened in, or before, the 2015/16 planting season.  There may be one or more woodland areas on the farm/croft that are included in the entry.

There must be benefits to the farming/crofting operations, ideally improving productivity and the wood(s) should form part of the financial sustainability of the farm/croft holding.  The farm/croft’s woodland(s) will be used in a sustainable and potentially enterprising way with responsible management providing direct farming benefits.  For example: generating income from sustainably managed woods; using biomass, fuelwood or wood chips on site or selling these as a renewable, clean, Carbon neutral energy; or creating new woodlands to off-set carbon produced from agricultural operations; or for livestock shelter, sporting interests, amenity or other objectives.  The farm/croft must be actively managed with a BRN.

Full entry criteria are in the entry form – see link below.


The judges aim to visit short-listed entries during May/June.  You will be contacted by the judges directly regarding any site visit during April – early May.


A £1,000 cash prize is normally awarded to each winning project at the discretion of the judges and other high quality entries may receive a judges’ commendation.  For young people there is either one cash prize or it can be split between two people where the farmer/crofter and/or forester/woodland manager are different with each receiving £500.  In either case the payment is made to the individual entrant(s) personally.

In addition, the Scottish Woodlands Ltd. Trophy for Young People is available to be awarded for one competition and the prestigious the Lilburn Trophy kindly gifted by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland is awarded for the other competition.  Both are at the discretion of the judges with custody for one year.  The winner(s) and commended entries will also receive a certificate and a wooden display plaque recording their achievement.

The 2021 Awards’ results will be announced at a virtual Awards ceremony to be held at 12noon on Friday 10th September.  Winners will receive their prizes around then.   Due to Covid-19 further announcements will made nearer the time.

How you could enter

A simple, short entry form was to be completed with basic location, contact details and a statement in no more than 500 words why you think your entry would make a worthy winner of this prestigious award.  If wished, any supporting information such as visuals (e.g. photographs or weblinks), a summary management plan, woodland composition – species/age/type map(s), soils maps and any publicity or information document(s) that will help our judges make their decision could be provided.  In addition, up to three short videos if available could also be made available.

Closing date for entries:

The final deadline for all entries was midnight on Wednesday 31st March 2021.  Any entries received after this date will not be considered.

More info …

See list of past winners here >>
Information Sheet >>
Download Farm Woodland Award Entry Form here  >>

Contact person:

Angela Douglas
Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards
c/o A Douglas Consultancy

Tel: 07969 327015

Award supporters:

The Farm Woodland Award is jointly supported by:

SAC Consulting and Scottish Woodlands Ltd.