Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards

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

Roll of honour

A full list of winners and commended entrants for 2023 can be downloaded here.  You can also take a virtual tour of all those awarded’s finest woods, forests and educational projects – click the video on the homepage, sit back and enjoy their excellence!

We maintain a Roll of Honour recording the winners of our Awards since Scotland’s Finest Woods was established in 1985:

The Scottish Forestry Trophy for Early Years

A new Award introduced in 2021 just in time for the Awards Ceremony due to the exceptional quality and number of entries.  This led to the judges deciding a further specific competition was required and that was made possible with Scottish Forestry’s support last year.  The new Early Years Award is for the youngest children’s learning and supplements the Schools Award for those who are older.

Last year’s winner >>

Trophy for Climate Change Champion

New for 2021 and to mark the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow, the Climate Change Champion Award demonstrates ‘on the ground’ how Scotland’s forests and woodlands can have an important role in mitigating, and responding to, climate change.  CarbonStore commissioned the superb hand-carved trophy which they generously sponsored from 2021 – 2023.  This exciting Award aims to discover the very best examples of such woodlands and how knowledge and experience can be shared to raise awareness.  The Award has been developed with specialist independent guidance from Forest Research, Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree-related research.

The competition is open to entrants across Scotland as a direct option and as an additional opportunity for any entry into one of the other established Award categories which satisfies the entry criteria.

Last year’s winner >>

The Scottish Woodlands Ltd Trophy for Young People – Farm Woodland Awards

New in 2019, Scotland’s Finest Woods was kindly gifted by Scottish Woodlands Ltd the above creatively designed Trophy especially to award Young People connected with Farm Woodlands.  The competition was open to entrants – the farmer/crofter and/or forester/woodland manager who at the time of the closing date were aged 16 years and under 41 years of age.  One person may fulfil both roles or there may be one or both of these roles where the person is young.  Whilst younger they were the person(s) considering the options for the land and its management demonstrating the integration of farming and woodlands/forestry by young people.  They 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.

The Young People Farm Woodland Award was first awarded in 2019.

Last year’s winner >>

The Lilburn Trophy for Farm Woodlands

New for 2018 Scotland’s Finest Woods was kindly gifted by the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland the magnificent Lilburn Trophy especially to create a new award for Farm Woodlands.  The competition is to reward the very best of Scotland’s Farm Woodlands that form part of good agricultural practise.  The winning farmers are judged as demonstrating exemplary use of both woodland and agricultural practise with benefits being delivered to both the farm’s operations and quality of woodland management.

The Farm Woodland Award was first awarded in 2018.

Previous winners >>

The Crown Estate Schools Trophy

This Award run in conjunction with Outdoor & Woodland Learning Scotland (previously the Forest Education Initiative Scotland) is for school projects that increase young people’s understanding and appreciation of the environmental, social and economic potential of trees, woodlands and forests and of the link between trees and everyday wood-based products. In 2014 a trophy was donated by The Crown Estate for use in the Schools Award.

The Schools Award was first awarded in 2006.

Last year’s winner  >>

Tim Stead Trophy for Community Woodlands

This Award is for community and urban woodlands or other social projects which involve people with their environment.

The stunning timber trophy was made by the late Tim Stead, the inspirational furniture designer, wood sculptor and conservationist, in 1986 as part of his  Axes for Trees project, which involved making one wooden axe head for every day of the year, and selling them to raise money to plant trees. As well as supporting craftsmen to develop the skills needed to make full use of local, native timbers, he was an enthusiastic advocate of community forestry.

The Tim Stead Trophy was first awarded in 2006.

Last year’s winner  >>

John Kennedy Trophy for Multi-purpose Woodlands

This Award is for multi-purpose woodlands where a number of different activities are taking place within a woodland or forest. For example, in addition to  timber production, these could be recreation or a visitor centre and/or conservation. The size of the forest or woodlands is not restricted, but must be appropriate to and capable of sustaining the stated objectives.

The John Kennedy Memorial Trophy, a splendid silver rose bowl, was presented by the Forestry Commission for a competition to encourage ‘forestry in harmony with the environment’ and in memory of John Kennedy, the Forestry Commissioner responsible for forest management, who died in 1985.

The John Kennedy Trophy was first awarded in 1986 and is now run as part of the Quality Timber Awards category.

Last year’s winner  >>

Hunter Blair Trophy for Silvicultural Excellence

This Award is for a stand or compartment of trees where the exemplary use of silvicultural techniques, practice and management results in high quality timber production.

The silver salver was originally presented by Sir James Hunter Blair of Blairquhan Bt. to the Royal Scottish Forestry Society as a prize for an ‘annual Competition for Woodland Management’.

Sir James was a keen forester serving as a District Officer with the Forestry Commission in the 1920s before returning to Ayrshire to manage the family estate at Blairquhan. Here he pursued his enthusiasm for silviculture and took great delight in testing forestry students and more experienced foresters on the identification of the more unusual specimens to be found at Blairquhan.

The Hunter Blair Trophy was first awarded in 1964 and Scotland’s Finest Woods has run the competition since 1986 and it is now run as part of the Quality Timber Awards category.

Previous winners  >>

James Jones Trophy for New Commercial Woods

This Award is for a newly planted productive and predominantly conifer woodland of 10 hectares or more in extent, up to 5 years old and established on previously bare land where the planning, practice and management regime is designed to result in high quality timber production.

The James Jones Trophy, an ash-wood bowl, was presented by James Jones & Sons Ltd; it was first awarded in 2012 and is run as part of the Quality Timber Awards category.

Last year’s winner  >>

Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy  for New Native Woods

This Award is to reward new native woodland planting where the exemplary use of silvicultural techniques, planning, practice and management is delivering high quality native woods.

Woodland Trust Scotland sponsors this award and donated a prestigious new trophy made from native hardwoods by Julian Angus.

The Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy was first awarded in 2011.

Last year’s winner  >>

Dulverton Flagon

The distinctive Dulverton Flagon was first awarded to the winners of a sustainable woodland management competition to promote The Forestry & Woodland Code produced by the then woodland owners’ association, Timber Growers United Kingdom. The flagon was generously provided by the then Lord Dulverton, an enthusiastic advocate of forestry in Scotland and in the House of Lords. The competition ran from 1986 to 1994 but the trophy had a subsequent outing in 1999 when the S W England region of the by then re-titled Timber Growers Association provided it as a prize at Exeter Races when Walter’s Destiny romped home to snatch the coveted flagon!

The flagon was not to see active service again until 2010 when the Crown Estate’s Glenlivet Estate was rewarded in the Scotland’s Finest Woods’ Silver Jubilee Competition. The judges felt that the estate’s keen and enthusiastic focus on innovation and drawing in partners and resources to contribute to and benefit from the estate was particularly worthy of recognition and reward hence their decision to award the Dulverton Flagon as a special prize for innovation and diversity.

The flagon is not tied to a particular competition but is available for award each year at the judges’ discretion.

Last year’s winner  >>

1919 Forestry Act Centenary Trophy

This special Centenary Trophy was a unique, one-off competition for 2019 only to mark the centenary of the 1919 Forestry Act and was sponsored by Scottish Forestry.   This Act has helped influence the way Scotland’s trees, woods and forests have been managed and nurtured over the past 100 years and contributed to our lives, economy and environment providing a platform for further growth in the next century.   The Trophy is made from 17 different timbers representing old traditional or native and new timbers we may consider in the future.  About 30cm triangle it represents a conifer.

There must have been:

  • clear short and long term management objectives; and
  • an ability by the owner/manager to clearly and directly demonstrate how they have adapted/changed the management over time to ensure the woodland/forests resilience both in the past and to prepare the woodland or forest ready for the future.

The 2019 winner  >>