Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards

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

From one nursery to another – Alba Trees to sponsor Early Years prize at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards

Image of cell grown oak saplings, credit: Alba Trees
Image:  cell grown oak saplings.  Credit: Alba Trees

Alba trees is the UK’s largest cell grown nursery producing 30 million trees per year across three sites in the beautiful East Lothian countryside. As an industry leader they recognise the importance of cultivating the next generation of foresters to ensure our forests and woodlands are cared for in the future and ultimately safeguarding our planet against climate change.

With the future of forestry being at the heart of Alba’s priorities they have chosen to sponsor the Early Years Award – one of 11 competitions – at the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2024.

Sowing new foresters with strong roots

Margaret Allan is the Sales Manager at Alba Trees and understands first-hand the importance of instilling a passion for forestry in young people as early as possible in order to cultivate the next generation of foresters for the industry.

She stated: “We are delighted to deepen our involvement with the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards, specifically the Early Years Award.

“It is vital that as an industry we educate young people about what we do, but also create some enthusiasm within them to work in the woodland or forestry environment when they grow up – this will make the sector stronger and also help the environment 

“Good woodland and forest management helps reduce the carbon impact on the planet as well as contributing to a vibrant sector – and it all starts with saplings in the ground, or on two little legs at their own nursery.”

Entry to Scotland’s Finest Woods Award open now for all

Last year’s winner of the Early Years Award was Bushcraft Bairns at Comrie Croft, Perthshire, who created a Forest School setting that nurtures connection with nature through play.

The criteria for entries means there is an opportunity for all – the award can be for practical or desk projects involving forestry, woodlands or trees. 

This could include a programme of learning in a woodland or forest environment or in a forest industry setting, a classroom-based study of woods and forests or the forest industry, or practical tree planting or woodland improvement projects in school grounds or in the local community.

The entry can also be for an ongoing forestry or tree related project, or one that is already completed. This year, Scottish Forestry – Outdoor Woodland Learning Scotland has created some case studies which may help to inspire you in your own entry. You can download them here.

Jean Nairn, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, said: “Alba Trees have supported the Awards programme for many years and we are delighted to have them on board as a full sponsor this year.  They do a tremendous amount of work to make sure the stock of saplings available to foresters is healthy and strong. It also shows the importance of linking the young people with the forestry sector – promoting a career for the foresters of the future.”

Discover more

To find out more about Alba Trees go to

There are 11 competitions at this year’s Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards covering Quality Timber, Farm Woodland, New Native Woodland, Community Woodland and Schools and Early Years, as well as a Climate Change Champion.

For full details, criteria and entry forms see: Note – deadline is March 31.

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