Woodland wins national award
HEANTON Woods is one of three Devonshire woodlands being hailed as beacons of best practice by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) after winning a top national award.
Clinton Devon Estate's Heanton Woods took silver in the RFS Duke of Cornwall Multi-purpose Woodlands Award 2012 after beating off tough competition in the excellence competition.
The woodland covers 950 hectares. Species are predominantly commercial conifers with some areas of old oak plantations on ancient woodland sites.
John Wilding, head of forestry and the environment for Clinton Devon Estates, said: 'In so many ways, Heanton is a traditional estate, so it is very pleasing to have achieved this level of recognition for our multi-purpose woodlands which are thriving as a result of continued thinning and careful management.
'In the face of dealing with the ongoing challenges of new pests and diseases, we have been able to produce high quality timber as well as providing areas of important public recreation space.'
Tim Sawyer, former operations manager for South and West England, who alongside Chris Marrow, former Peninsula Forest district manager, judged the entries, said: 'There was strong competition across all categories, and particularly amongst community woodlands, which perhaps underlines the importance of woodlands in our society today.
'The forestry industry faces a tough challenge persuading the public that management practices such as coppicing, thinning and cutting down trees, and managing squirrels and deer, can be good for woodlands, but our winners demonstrate just how much can be achieved when appropriate techniques are used well.'
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