James Jones & Sons sponsored the 'New Commercial Woods' category in the Quality Timber Awards section of Scotland's Finest Wood Awards in a ceremony that took place at the Royal Highland Show last Friday. The winner of the James Jones trophy was Crofthead, near Moffat in the Borders which aimed to produce a highly productive forest while maintaining biodiversity and visual aesthetics.

The judges said: “In terms of modern Scottish forestry practice, this project provides something of an exemplar. The aim to marry quality timber production with strong biodiversity credentials looks as if it will be well achieved. The site is highly productive and located at the bottom of the hill, and could have carried a greater percentage of Sitka spruce, but the owner has decided that the site conditions warranted a more diverse species mix yet still with a focus on timber production and is highly commended for that.

Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform & Islands, who presented the Awards, said: “The Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate our trees and woodlands, and especially, all the inspiring people who care for them. I’d like to congratulate the award winners and everyone who took part.

“This year we’ve had some fantastic entries which shows Scotland really does have a vibrant forestry and woodland sector.

“I’m particularly pleased to see so many children and young people involved in award entries. We need to grow and nurture our future foresters from an early age and attract more young people into the world of forestry. This is an important issue that needs collective public and private action and I’m looking forward to discussing this, and finding solutions, at the forthcoming Scottish Forestry Summit later in the year.”

Jean Nairn, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, said: “Once again, Scotland has excelled itself in producing some world-beating examples of forestry and woodland, not least in the important sphere of climate change.

“The awards ceremony is a well-established fixture on the calendar and it is always pleasing to see such a wide range of entries, from early years through to more seasoned foresters, community groups to farmers. I think another benefit of today was that everyone learned something from each other – all doing things differently but with the aim of the environment and trees at the heart of it.”

*Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon presents the James Jones Trophy for New Commercial Woods to Manager Andrew McQueen of Crofthead, Moffat © Julie Broadfoot