ARE YOU proud of your farm woodlands? If you are, it is time to step forward and take part in a national awards programme, which has just opened for nominations.

Scotland's Finest Woods Awards, which recognises excellent management and the creation of new woodlands, have added a Farm Woodland Award for 2018.

Any farm where tree planting or woodland management has made an important contribution to the farm business and/or the local environment is encouraged to enter. The winner will receive the Lilburn Trophy and £1000 in cash, thanks to joint support from The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and Scottish Woodlands Ltd.

Farm woodlands entering the award will be used in a “sustainable and potentially enterprising way with responsible management providing direct farming benefits”. This might include:

• generating income from sustainably managed woods;

• using biomass, woodfuel or wood chips on site or selling them as renewable, clean energy;

• creating new woods to off-set carbon produced from agricultural operations;

• using woodland for livestock shelter, sporting interests or other amenity use.

Executive director of Scotland's Finest Woods, Angela Douglas, said: "Farm woodlands are an important part of Scotland’s landscape, whether they are shelter-belts for livestock, cherished native woodlands, productive conifers supporting a farming business or younger woods.

"We are delighted to introduce this award to show how tree planting on farms can contribute to a healthy environment and the economic viability of the farm business. We are very grateful to the RHASS and Scottish Woodlands Ltd for their support."

RHASS chairman Jimmy Warnock said: “Many progressive landowners in Scotland have recognised the benefits of incorporating woodland into farm management plans and have invested for the long-term reward for the environment, people and the economy of Scotland. RHASS is proud to support these inspiring individuals and to present the Awards programme with the RHASS Lilburn Trophy.”

Managing director of Scottish Woodlands Ltd, Ralland Browne, said: “Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards are an uplifting celebration of excellent forests and woodland.

“Scottish Woodland Owners’ Association, which evolved into Scottish Woodlands Ltd, helped establish the first awards in 1985. I was lucky enough to win several awards on behalf of clients as a young forester in the late 80s and early 90s and I’m delighted, now as managing director of the company, to support continued excellence in the sector.”

NFUS vice president, Martin Kennedy, added: "This is an exciting innovation in the Awards programme and presents a real opportunity for high-quality farm woodlands which have shown a truly integrated approach to land management. I look forward to some excellent entries.”

The Award is open to active farmers anywhere in Scotland. The area of woodland must be two hectares (five acres) or more in size, with tree canopy cover (or the potential to achieve this for young woodland) of at least 20%. Any young woodland must have had at least five years of growth.

Other awards to be presented at the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards ceremony at the Royal Highland Show will be made to Scotland's finest Community Woodlands, New Native Woodlands and Quality Timber, in addition to the Schools Award.

The deadline for entries is March 31. For full details, and to download an entry form, go to