Royal Forestry Society awards Gold to local woodland social enterprise

Hill Holt Wood, an environmental social enterprise based in Lincoln, has been awarded the Royal Forestry Society Award of Excellence (Gold) for the Study Programme.

The Award is to encourage and reward schools, colleges, universities and other recognised training providers who increase awareness, understanding and skills related to the environmental, social and economic potential of trees, woodlands and forests, and who may also demonstrate the link between trees and wood products.

The Study Programme is open to young people aged between 16 and 19 who are not already in education, employment or training. It aims to maximise the potential of young people to help them progress onto higher education and/or skilled employment. Since 2013, over 250 young people from Lincoln, Grantham, Sleaford, Newark and Gainsborough have achieved qualifications in vocational pathways, such as Land-based Studies & Heritage Woodcraft, in addition to Functional Skills Maths, English and ICT.

2017 has seen the introduction of Hill Holt Wood’s very own bespoke qualification: the Level 1 Award in Environmental Sustainability. This is completed by all Study Programme students and is another way in which Hill Holt Wood increases awareness and develops skills and understanding of woodlands from an environmental, social and economic perspective, in the young people they work with.

Steve Donagain, CEO, said: “Two of the main things we pride ourselves on at Hill Holt Wood are the Study Programme and our forestry operations, so to be recognised for both of these in one award is fantastic. It is testament to our ethos that ancient woodlands do have value in the 21st century, especially for the next generation of young people.”

Oliver Woodman, Head of Operations, added: “A good attitude towards managing woodlands and their importance in our lives is taught to our Study Programme students through developing the traits of inclusion, tolerance, accountability and conservation; the fact that everything is inextricably linked, and the understanding that the maintenance of this balance is essential for the future welfare, not only of our immediate surroundings, but of our planet.”

More information about the Hill Holt Wood Study Programme can be found on their website www.hillholtwood.com or on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/Hill-Holt