Twelve wins for Tilhill in Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Woodlands Competition

Tilhill secured a remarkable 12 awards at this year’s Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Woodlands Competition (RWAS), the presentation of which took place at the Royal Welsh Show 2023 in Llanelwedd.

Prizes included The Charles Shakerley Memorial Perpetual Challenge Cup for the Best Conifer Entry and The Royal Forestry Society Certificate for best entry in all stand classes. These were presented to Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (not-for-profit water company) in partnership with Tilhill for the stunning mixed woodlands of Elan Valley; a sustainably certified woodland featuring a prominent level of visitors showing excellent stands of high-quality mature Sitka Spruce and Norway Spruce managed on a continuous cover basis.

Elan Valley was also recognised by the judges as gold medal ‘Stand Class Winners’ in both conifer woodland over 30 years old and ‘Area managed using Low Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS)’. Tilhill Forest Manager Luke Cross was also recognised for Stand Class awards for ‘Area managed using LISS’ at Yr Allt.

The judges said “Set in a stunning landscape the mixed woodlands of the Elan Valley are a joy to the eye.”

David Edwards, Tilhill’s Forestry Director said: “It is thrilling to see the continued recognition of our forestry management team in Wales. It is a fantastic achievement for all our award winners who, working closely with our clients, take considerable time and care in designing, planning, and implementing woodland creation and management for healthy forests.

“The awards truly recognise the importance of professionally-managed woodlands and the quality of the services Tilhill offers.

“Tilhill takes care of not only growing trees but also growing our people too, which is recognised through having the highest number of professionally qualified chartered foresters of any organisation. Congratulations to all involved.”

Other wins included a gold medal for Stand Class – Conifer planting or restocking (11-30 years old) to Maesycilyn Woodlands, a woodland managed by Tilhill on behalf of Gresham House.

The awards saw woodlands managed by Tilhill winning six prizes including gold and silver for Best Managed Woodlands between 51-200 hectares. Gold, presented to Ed Clark, Tilhill Forest Manager for Cwmcringlyn, a well-designed, privately owned, woodland creation scheme resulting in a diverse productive woodland at a landscape scale, managed on behalf of Alembic Ltd.

The judges said, “The planting was carried out in the winter of 2021/22 and there is sound evidence of post planting maintenance being carried out. A lot of thought has gone into this scheme and the result is a diverse productive woodland at a landscape scale.”

Also, presented to Tilhill Forest Manager, Arwel Davies was an award for Bryn Eithinog, a certified productive woodland which has seen the introduction of Scots pine and Lodgepole pines for diversity and retention of roadside broadleaves to improve woodland conservation.

Two awards were presented for Best Managed Woodlands – 11-50 hectares. The first, Beacon Lodge, a 37-hectare upland forest using silviculture, with Sitka spruce as the dominant species and smaller areas of broadleaves as part of a restructuring, with crops responding well to thinning. Also, Tyn y Berth, managed on behalf of organic sheep farmer, Jack Lydiate, is a 47-hectare woodland creation project on poor agriculture land, planted for carbon, diversification, and long-term family farm income. The scheme features conifer crops, open ground and mixed broadleaves and received an award for ‘Best Managed Woodland’ which was presented to Alun Morgan, Tilhill Forest Manager.

Further medals for Best Managed Woodlands over 200 hectares went to the Tilhill Wales team once again for Elan Valley, adjacent to an RSPB reserve praised for featuring regular stakeholder meetings.

Llanbrynmair the largest privately owned forest in Wales featuring steep valleys, undergoing restructuring since the 1970’s, restoring peatland and positively restoring riparian management, whilst including local stone for roading also won a medal for Best Managed Woodlands.

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