Wild land charity the John Muir Trust has been recognised by the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards for its work to regenerate the woodland on its Li and Coire Dhorrcail property on Knoydart.
Aileen McLeod MSP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, presented the ‘New Native Woods Award’ to Lester Standen, John Muir Trust property manager for Knoydart, at the Royal Highland Show on Friday 19 June.
The Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards celebrate the contribution that woodlands make to the environment and economic prosperity of Scotland and showcase how woods contribute to the health and well-being of Scottish people.
John Gallagher, an ecologist on the judging panel for the New Native Woods Award, said: “The John Muir Trust project clearly demonstrated an alternative model of land use that recognises the need to control deer numbers in a manner that allows habitat recovery to the overall benefit of the environment and deer themselves.”
“For a number of reasons this project stands out as an exemplar of sustainable land management and one which the John Muir Trust can be truly proud of their achievement over the past 20 years.”
Accepting a cheque for £1000, a specially engraved commemorative cherry wood plaque and the Woodland Trust Scotland Trophy for New Native Woods, Lester Standen said: “We’re honoured to receive this level of recognition for our rewilding work on Knoydart and delighted the award is in part a result of the John Muir Trust’s progressive deer management policies that have allowed native species in the area to flourish.
“Li and Coire Dhorrcail is a very special wild place. Over the last two decade dozens of volunteers, Trust staff and local contractors have worked tremendously hard to regenerate this corner of Knoydart with benefits for the woodland, wildlife, local people and visitors.”