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Silver for Wentwood

A woodland owned and managed by Coed Cadwr between Usk and Chepstow has scooped Silver in the Royal Forestry Society's Excellence in Forestry Multipurpose Woodlands Awards which are being held in Wales this year for the first time.

Wentwood forms part of the largest block of ancient woodland in Wales and is managed for: public access and education (with Natural Resources Wales); timber production
conservation, community benefits and involvement.

What the judges said: "We were very impressed with the steps being taken by the Coed Cadw manager under difficult circumstances on an exposed site to improve woodland species diversity and structure by careful thinning and enrichment planting to supplement natural regeneration where required, and by maintaining large open areas for wildlife and amenity. A close link has been developed with NRW who manage the adjoining woodland, to ensure continuity of woodland design and management, with the replacement of clearfelling by continuous cover forestry as and when possible."

What the owner said: "Since acquiring our holding at Wentwood, Coed Cadw have been actively managing the site with full stakeholder involvement, aiming for best silvicultural, conservation and people outcomes, and we’re very pleased to receive this multi-purpose RFS forestry award that recognises this. "

Elsewhere: Excellence In Forestry Gold Awards have gone to:
Woodland Creation: Caia Community Woods, owned by Wrexham County Borough Council
Duke of Cornwall Multipurpose: Llewesog Estate, Llanrhaeadr, Denbigh, owned by Mr Bill Williams
Small Woodlands: Bron Haul woodland at Abergele, Conwy, owned by David Brown and Ruth Prybus
Community Woodlands: Warren Woods at Bodfari, Denbigh, owned by Rod Waterfield
Silviculture: Glynaeron and Tẏ Rhyg (part of Coed Preseli) at Crymych, Pembrokeshire, owned by Robert and Jill Holding.

More details on each of the winners can be found at

Judges for the Woodland Creation category were:

Lead judge: Christine Cahalan – who lectures in silviculture and forest management at Bangor University. She has been a member of various forestry advisory committees and boards in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, including one of the working groups of the Welsh Woodland Forum, and is currently Chairman of the North Wales Division of the Royal Forestry Society.

Les Starling – who spent 18 years as a Woodland Officer in North East Wales and retired in 2004 after 42 years with the Forestry Commission. He is on the council of North Wales Wildlife Trust, a director of Cofnod (the North Wales Local Record Centre), Vice Chair of the North East Wales Biodiversity Network ,a committee member of North Wales FWAG Cymru and the North Wales Division of the RFS. He has also been invited to represent the Natural Environment on the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB Partnership.

Trefor Thompson – was Principal Forestry Officer in 1985 for Clwyd County Council and transferred to the new Denbighshire unitary authority as Principal Countryside Officer in 1996, remaining there until he retired in 2008. He was a member of the Board of the Welsh woodlands initiative – Coed Cymru – for many years and also served on the Wales Woodland Forum and its successor the Wales Woodland Strategy Advisory Panel
Judges for the other woodland categories were:

John Good – Director of NERC Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE-latterly the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Bangor Research Unit until his retirement in 2000. He is currently chairman of the North Wales Division of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group for Wales.

Philippe Morgan - a Fellow of the ICF and President of Pro Silva and Vice-president of the Association Futaie Irrégulière (AFI). He is a Director of Sustainable Forest Management Limited and of SelectFor Ltd, specialists in continuous cover forest (CCF) management. He now combines consultancy work in Britain and Ireland with the management of woodlands in Wales.

Winners of the RFS Excellence in Forestry Schools Awards will be announced shortly. The Awards will be presented in July at the RFS's magnificent Coast Redwoods woodlands in Leighton near Welshpool, the Charles Ackers Redwood Grove and Naylor Pinetum.