The future of the forestry industry is in safe hands after a group of “thoughtful, articulate and passionate” young people were rewarded for their writing excellence at a reception at Westminster.

Lorna Johnson, a Masters student at Harper Adams University and graduate agricultural consultant with ADAS, was named the winnerof the first Future of Forestry writingprize – organised by trade body Confor: promoting forestry and wood.

The 22-year-old won £500 and was presented with her cheque
by Forestry Minister David Rutley MP at the Westminster reception, organised by Confor for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry. Ten MPs and members of the House of Lords attended the event.

Sandy Davidson, a Forest Management student at the Scottish School of Forestry in Inverness, won £250 for second place, while Rob Coltman and David Pelly of Tiilhill Forestry (based in Kent and central Scotland) were placed joint third, receiving £100 each. All four winnersalso received signed certificates.

The event was organised to celebrate the contribution of young professionals and students to the profession. They were asked to write on ‘How can forestry and wood processing help deliver a Green Brexit and a more sustainable society in the UK?’

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: “We were delighted with the response to the competition and there could have been many more winners from the entries received. It was fantastic to see all four winners at Westminster to receive their prizes. They were excellent young ambassadors for our industry – thoughtful, articulate and passionate about the future of forestry – a future which looks very bright to me.”