Big Success For Dumfries & Galloway in ‘Tree Oscars’

One of Scotland’s largest modern forests and a nursery school in Kirkcudbright are among those honoured in a highly successful year for Dumfries & Galloway in Scotland’s ‘Tree Oscars’.


Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in forests, woods and woodland education.



The Cormilligan new commercial planting site in Upper Nithsdale was the winner of the Dulverton Flagon, a prestigious accolade only occasionally awarded when judges are especially impressed by an entry in the Quality Timber Award category. It was last presented in 2016.

Dulverton Flagon – Mrs J C Hands for Cormilligan, D&G, – Isaac Adams Tilhill’s Area Manager (l) & Tom Black Forestry of Gresham House PLC (r) – SFWA 2022 © Julie Broadfoot

The award was presented to Tilhill and Gresham House PLC for “an excellent example of modern Scottish forestry, delivering multiple objectives, focusing on quality timber and climate change mitigation”. The winners were praised for their “ambition, vision, and ability to take on board others’ views and criticism in its development”.


Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2022 at Royal Highland Show – © Julie Broadfoot

Johnston Nursery in Kirkcudbright was honoured with Scottish Forestry’s ‘acorn trophy’ for early years settings which instil a love of trees and woodlands in young children. It was described by judges as “a superb example of what can be done by the nursery community and someone with a vision.”


The nursery bought a small patch of nearby woodland and the children, with adult help, have made it their own. Through the children’s committee, they have instigated a dog poo campaign, built a tunnel and a castle and planted trees.  Judges said: “The repurposing of wood products is ingenious, aided by input from helpful grandparents and parents.”


Michael Clarke of Williamwood
Another regional success was Williamwood near Lockerbie, joint winner of the Farm Woodland Award. Judges said it was “striving to improve woodland habitats in complete fusion with food production and taking these mission statements to the public via their holiday accommodation”.
They continued: “The woodlands create a discussion point with visitors to talk about farming and food production. A wind that hails from the Solway Firth gathers a bit of momentum but the woods and hedges of Williamwood allow stock to graze unhindered and benefit unquestionably from them.
Specific fields are used for keeping stock out longer with shelter and shade, grass growth has an extended growing season with improved herd health.
Without the woodland, the owners Michael and Shirley Clarke said, “the farm would be exposed to the strong winds which blow from the Solway, the grass would not grow as well and we, our livestock and the wildlife would shiver.”


The Small Community Woodland Group winner and overall Community Woodland Award winner of the Tim Stead Trophy was Taliesin Community Woodland, near Castle Douglas.


Judges said that South West Community Woodland Trust, which owns and manages Taliesin, had created “a special site that encourages and enables local people to come together out of doors in a welcoming environment” and is a “haven for biodiversity”.
They added: “Hand in hand with the site management for biodiversity has been the development of
crafted timber buildings and a good path to make the site accessible and practical for activities ranging from education to crafts to celebrations.
“It is particularly notable that, even with all the hard work that goes with creating and maintaining the site and facilities, the people managing Taliesin are still having fun!”  The judges concluded “In this, their 25th year, they are also a worthy winner of the Tim Stead trophy for their stellar work in engaging people with this woodland site”.


The awards were presented at an event at the Royal Highland Show.


Angela Douglas, Executive Director of Scotland’s Finest Woods, said: “Dumfries & Galloway is well-known for its commercial forestry but its success in this year’s awards with four winners demonstrates the sheer variety of its woodland excellence – from a nursery school through a superb farm woodland and exemplary community scheme to a large modern new woodland delivering multiple benefits. Congratulations to all the winners!”


Màiri McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform, who presented the Awards, said:  “Scotland boasts a strong woodland heritage that is admired by many countries and its international reputation for good woodland management is well deserved.
“The Awards celebrate the achievements and hard work of all those who create and care for our forests and woodlands, and instil a love of trees in our young people.
“I’d like to congratulate all the winners who are keeping Scotland’s woodlands the finest they can be.”



Full list of awarded entries


Early Years Award

Winner of the Scottish Forestry Early Years’ Trophy: Johnston Nursery, Kirkcudbright

Runner up: Balgreen Nursery, Edinburgh


Schools Award

Joint Winners of the Crown Estate Scotland Schools’ Trophy: Grandtully Primary School, Perthshire and Priorsford Primary School, Peebles


Farm Woodland Award

Winner of the Scottish Woodlands Ltd. Trophy for Young People: John MacGregor and Andy Maclachlan for Allanfauld Farm, Kilsyth


Joint Winners of the Lilburn Trophy for Farm Woodlands: Michael and Shirley Clarke for Williamwood, Lockerbie and The Lockett Family for Knockbain Farm, Dingwall, Ross-shire.

Highly Commended: W Laird and Sons for Netherurd Home Farm, Blyth Bridge, West Linton and

A MacGregor (Allanfauld) Ltd. for Allanfauld Farm, Kilsyth


New Native Woods Award

Winner of the Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy for New Native Woods: Mike and Fiona Coulthard for 1, Ardnakille, Scalpay, Isle of Harris


Quality Timber Awards

New Commercial Woods category

Winner of the James Jones Trophy for New Commercial Woods: The Forestry Partnership 2008 LLP for Succothmore, Strachur, Cowal


The Dulverton Flagon

Winner of the Dulverton Flagon as a special prize for the successful balance between commercial forestry and competing objectives: Mrs J C Hands for Cormilligan, Dumfries and Galloway


Community Woodlands Award

Winner of the Small Community Woodland Group competition and of the Tim Stead Trophy for overall Community Woodland Award Winner: Taliesin Community Woodland, Near Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

Highly Commended – Small Community Woodland Group competition:

Cormonachan Community Woodlands, Carrick Castle, Argyll

Commended – Large Community Woodland Group competition:

Dronley Community Woodland, Auchterhouse, Angus