Bold vision for Heart of England Forest earns group a gold award - The Evesham Observer

Bold vision for Heart of England Forest earns group a gold award

Evesham Editorial 24th Jul, 2018   0

A MUCH-LOVED forest which runs up the Worcestershire/ Warwickshire borders has won gold in the Royal Forestry Society Excellence in Forestry Community Woodlands Awards

Judges were impressed by the bold vision for the overall Heart of England Forest but also how the woodlands they were judging had become thriving assets for the local communities with a wide range of forms of engagement by local groups and volunteers. There was ample evidence of their commitment to enhancing biodiversity through their approach to woodland creation and management.

At the Awards event at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt, architect and TV presenter Piers Taylor – himself a woodland owner – explained his inspirational journey to design buildings that combine storing carbon through the use of local timber with the knowhow of traditional rural buildings.

His aim is to create stunning buildings that are ‘of this place’ – using timber from the immediate surrounds and he said: “One of the most beautiful things anyone can do is to build from timber on their own land.”

Presenting the Excellence in Forestry Awards, RFS President Andrew Woods said: “The Excellence in Forestry Awards have once again revealed a rich seam of excellence in woodland management – from some of the most prestigious estates in the country to some of the smallest of woodlands. As landowners and woodland managers look to an uncertain future with increasing climate and environmental challenges, these are all woodlands we can learn from.

Will Taylor, Heart of England Forest Forestry Officer, says: “We are delighted to receive this award and appreciate the recognition from such a prestigious body as the RFS for all the hard work and dedication invested into our community woodland by our volunteers and staff.

“Our vision is to create a joined-up, sustainable, native broadleaved forest of 30,000 acres, for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

“This award highlights the many collaborations we have formed with the public, wildlife groups and other interested parties to ensure local communities benefit from and grow within our project”.

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