Young people in Scotland understand the value of trees and the huge role they can play in tackling climate change to safeguard the future of our planet, according to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who was presenting the schools prizes at the 2019 Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards. Source: Timberbiz
“It’s wonderful to see young people in Scotland from nursery through to secondary school engaging with trees and our natural environment in such a positive way,” Minister Sturgeon said.
“Almost 85% of all new tree planting in the UK is happening in Scotland and the younger generation is increasingly aware how important those trees are to our future.
“We are in the midst of a climate emergency and planting trees is vital if we are to tackle that emergency head on. In Scotland, we are leading the way towards a net zero world. It is clear to me that we have a committed and enthusiastic next generation ready to take up the climate challenge – including planting tens of millions more trees.
“Well done to all the winners at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards today and especially those young people who will help us deliver a cleaner, greener future for our planet. We know how children benefit from learning outdoors and it is great to see forests and woodlands playing a big part in that learning.”
The Awards program recognises excellence in forests, woodlands and forest-related projects across Scotland. This year’s program included a special Centenary Award to mark 100 years since the 1919 Forestry Act that created the Forestry Commission and recognised the importance of forestry.
The unique, one-off Award for woodland management that has adapted to change and shows resilience for the future was won by Fort Augustus Woodlands in the Highlands, managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, a new body created on 1 April when forestry was completely devolved to Scotland.
Abriachan Forest Trust, a 540-hectare community forest beside Loch Ness, was runner-up.
The two Farm Woodland Award winners of the Lilburn Trophy came from Fife and the new ‘Young People’ Trophy was won by crofters near Grantown on Spey in the Cairngorms.
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, who also presented the awards, praised Confor and its members for their key role in “smashing” Scotland’s planting target of 10,000 hectares and being part of a strong Team Scotland effort to put forestry on the map.
He said: “I’m delighted the First Minister was able to attend today to highlight the success of the forestry industry in Scotland.
“This is a huge year for forestry, with full devolution and the smashing of our ambitious planting targets. We are achieving on both quantity and quality as these annual Awards so clearly demonstrate and it is an enormous pleasure to recognise the exceptional quality on show at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards.”
Angela Douglas, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, the independent charity that runs the annual Awards program in a partnership with 18 organisations said: “This has been our biggest ever program and one of the best years of the Awards that were first established in 1985. We have seen some excellent entries and amazing diversity in all its forms.
“Trees, woods and forests are valued and enjoyed by as well as providing all sorts of benefits for everyone all over Scotland and as the First Minister says, the future looks very secure in the next generation’s hands.”