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Confor award winners receives accolades

 Monday, March 13, 2023

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The Future forestry leaders, great communicators and inspiring innovators were honoured alongside a dedicated supporter of the industry at Confor’s largest-ever awards dinner. There were also new awards for Professional Forester of the Year and a Net Zero prize to mark the industry’s vital contribution to addressing the damaging impacts of climate change.

Confor Chief Executive Stuart Goodall said the awards showed the industry was in great shape – and “ready, willing and able to tackle the big economic and environmental challenges ahead”.

Graham Taylor of Pryor & Rickett Silviculture won the top award for Dedicated Service to Forestry, while Tom Barnes of Vastern Timber was the winner of the Changing Attitudes Award for his work in sharing positive and accessible videos about forestry to a wider audience.

Neil White of Scottish Woodlands Ltd won the Tom A Bruce-Jones Memorial Award for Future Leader in the Forest Industry, with BH Wildlife Consultancy and Forestry & Land Scotland scooping the Innovation & Research prize.

The first Net Zero Award went to Neil Stoddart of Creel Maritime Ltd, while Jonathan Callis of Network Rail picked up the inaugural Professional Forester of the Year Award, sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Màiri McAllan, Scotland’s Environment and Land Reform Minister, said she was proud to have responsibility for forestry, which she described as “a thriving and successful industry looking to the future”.

Confor and its members were “integral” to delivering an enormous range of economic, environmental and social benefits, she said, adding: “But we must challenge ourselves to be adaptive and better.”

She urged members to reply to the Forestry Grant Scheme consultation, saying: “We seek your views and collective wisdom. How do we secure more carbon sequestration, biodiversity recovery, improved economic activity – and foster good relationships with communities, and ensure a sustainable supply of timber to the wood-using industry?”

Stuart Goodall said: “I’d like to congratulate all the worthy winners – and their fellow finalists – recognised at our biggest-ever awards dinner. These Awards showcase the amazing talent that is driving the forestry and wood industry forward. We’re in great shape and stand ready, willing and able to tackle the big economic and environmental challenges ahead.”

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