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Woodland work wins award for farmers

The award was one of many given at Scotland's Finest Woods 2022

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Woodland work wins award for farmers

A BRYDEKIRK couple have won a prestigious award for their work improving woodland habits.

Michael and Shirley Clarke, of Williamwood, were joint winners of the Farm Woodland Award at this year’s Scotland’s Finest Woods.

Judges were impressed by how the couple are “striving to improve woodland habitats in complete fusion with food production and taking these mission statements to the public via their holiday accommodation”.

Their woodlands also create a discussion point with visitors to talk about farming and food production.

Specific fields on the farm are used for keeping stock out longer with shelter and shade, the result is that grass growth has an extended growing season with improved herd health.

Explaining how the woods and hedges of Williamwood protect their stock from the Solway Firth winds and allow them to graze unhindered, the Clarkes said: “Without the woodland, 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.”

They share the Lilburn Trophy with the Lockett Family from Dingwall.

Meanwhile, there were three others winners from Dumfries and Galloway at the awards: Johnston Nursery at Kirkcudbright took home the Scottish Forestry Early Years’ Trophy; the Dulverton Flagon special prize for the successful balance between commercial forestry and competing objectives went to Mrs J C Hands for Cormilligan; and Taliesin Community Woodland, near Castle Douglas, won the Community Woodland Award.

Angela Douglas, from Scotland’s Finest Woods, said: “Dumfries and 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.”


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