Applications for RDS forestry awards close this week

The RDS Forest and Woodland Awards competition is currently accepting applications for the 2017 awards – however, those interested in entering must inform the organisers by this Friday, July 14.

Following this, official application forms must arrive no later than close of business on Wednesday, July 19, to be included in this year’s awards.

There is a prize fund of €15,000 – providing a significant attraction for woodland owners and managers.

The RDS encourages everyone with woodlands – large or small – to enter. People involved in the forestry sector are advised to nominate their friends and neighbours too if they think they are worthy candidates.

Application forms can be downloaded from the RDS website, forwarded by email or sent by post.

According to the organisers, the underlying motivations behind the awards are the twin goals of promoting the economic and environmental benefits of good forestry and farming in Ireland.

The RDS notes that the objective of its ‘Agriculture and Rural Affairs’ programme is to “promote best practice and efficiency in farming to ensure farm household profitability and sustainability in Ireland”.

There are four categories of awards:
  • Production Forestry (split into two sections – under 15ha and over 15ha);
  • Multipurpose Forestry;
  • Teagasc Farm Forestry Award (a new category sponsored by Teagasc);
  • Community Woodlands.

The winner of each category will receive a prize of €2,000, along with a trophy and RDS ‘Silver Medal’, while the runner-up in each category will win a €1,000 prize and a special ‘Certificate of Merit’.

The RDS notes that shortlisted entries will be inspected by judges between the months of August and September this year. Judges might also want to inspect woodlands after reading completed entry forms.