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Confor forestry prize to UK Masters student

Lorna Johnson, a Masters student at Harper Adams University, has won Confor’s first Future of Forestry writing prize. The 22-year-old, also a graduate agricultural consultant with ADAS, won £500 and a certificate, presented by the UK Forestry Minister David Rutley MP at a Westminster reception organised by Confor for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry. Source: Timberbiz

Sandy Davidson, a Forest Management student at the Scottish School of Forestry in Inverness, won £250 for second place, while Rob Coltman and David Pelly of Tiilhill Forestry were placed joint third, receiving £100 each.

The event, sponsored by Tilhill Forestry, was organised to celebrate the contribution of young professionals and students to the profession. They were asked to write on ‘How can forestry and wood processing help deliver a Green Brexit and a more sustainable society in the UK?’

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: “We were delighted with the response to the competition and there could have been many more winners from the entries received. It was fantastic to see all four winners at Westminster to receive their prizes. They were excellent young ambassadors for our industry – thoughtful, articulate and passionate about the future of forestry.”

David Rutley said: “There is a growing interest in the forestry sector in parliament and real opportunities as we leave the EU. The concept of public money for public goods provides new levers which we can use to bring forestry to the fore.”

Chris Davies, Chair of the APPGF who opened the event, said: “There was an incredibly positive vibe about the reception and the essay prize, which augurs well for the future of forestry. I’m certain the industry has a very bright future if it is in the hands of hugely impressive young people like our four award-winners.”

Lorna Johnson, who is doing her Masters on Conservation and Forest Protection, said: “I’m really delighted to win this award and it was brilliant to meet my fellow winners and so many forestry professionals at Westminster to discuss the exciting future of this great industry.”

Peter Whitfield, Business Development Director at Tilhill Forestry, said the forestry and wood sector was gathering really positive momentum – and that his company had been delighted to support the competition and encourage young professionals to think creatively about the future – and to challenge convention.