Photo contest winner highlights biodiversity in wood-producing forests

Photo contest winner highlights biodiversity in wood-producing forests

Scottish Woodlands Ltd is pleased to announce the winners of its 2024 staff photography competition, which showcases the stunning landscapes and diverse flora and fauna found in the forests managed by the company.

The winning image, by Charlotte Cavey-Wilcox, Regional Manager for South East Scotland, features a female Black Darter dragonfly at Ericstane Forest, north of Moffat. The photograph highlights hidden biodiversity in timber-producing forests, with the site recording various butterfly, moth, and dragonfly species. Scottish Woodlands plans to further enhance the habitat by installing hibernacula (underground chambers) to allow amphibians and reptiles to shelter from the cold, and cutting back Sitka spruce around the pond edges.

Runner-up Gregor Hamblin, Assistant Harvesting Manager, submitted a stunning photograph taken on a harvesting site in Argyll on a winter evening. The image showcases the magnificent light and beauty of the company's work locations, contrasting the warm, sunlit logs in the foreground with the cool tones of the sky and silhouetted trees.

The other runner-up, Isla Campbell, Graduate Assistant Forest Manager, captured a newly restocked Sitka spruce plantation at Eilanreach Estate near Glenelg in Lochalsh, western Scotland. The photograph illustrates the full cycle of sustainable forestry, from harvesting to ground preparation, young tree delivery, and planting, ensuring a continuous supply of home-grown timber while supporting jobs and the rural economy.

David Robertson, Director of Investment and Business Development at Scottish Woodlands, and one of the judges, said: “The winning images beautifully capture the essence of our work – managing diverse and thriving forests that provide valuable resources and habitats. We are proud of our staff's talent and dedication in showcasing the landscapes we nurture across the forests and woodlands we work on.”

The competition, open to all Scottish Woodlands employees, received a high number of entries, demonstrating the staff's passion for the forests they manage and the biodiversity they support.


"The photo was taken at Ericstane Forest that has a hidden acidic pond where we intend to install hibernacula for amphibians and reptiles and pull back some Sitka spruce from the pond edges, I was visiting to undertake a survey for Scotch Argus butterfly as I had spotted that the habitat was good for that butterfly. Given the area is visited only sporadically and is as commercial a property as you can get, we have recorded Green Hairstreak, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Scotch Argus, Emperor Moth, Orange Tip, Ringlet, Large Red Damselflies, Blue Tailed Damselflies, Common Blue Damselflies, Black Darters, and Common Hawkers. It’s a little gem of a pond. The photo is of a female Black Darter."

Charlotte Cavey-Wilcox, Regional Manager SE Scotland (winner)


Winning photograph by Charlotte Cavey-Wilcox


Pond at Ericstane Forest


Ariel view of the pond at Ericstane Forest

"A photo of a site in Argyll on a moody winter's evening, when the sun is falling behind the hills into the sea. The site looks out towards the western isles. The light on this night was sublime, and really showcases the beauty of some of the locations we work in. This is my personal favourite, I have never seen light quite like it on a harvesting site. The orangey glow of the sunlight and the freshly cut logs in the foreground contrast with the rich verdant standing trees silhouetted against the celestial blues of the sky. It is views like this that make me feel so grateful to do what I do."

Gregor Hamblin, Assistant Harvesting Manager (runner-up).


Runner-up photograph by Gregor Hamblin

"I took this photo on a rare dry and sunny day out west on Eilanreach Estate near Glenelg, looking across to the south of Skye - of a newly restocked site, planted with Sitka spruce. The good quality of the young planted trees, combined with the forest soils prepared by machine to create raised planting positions, will give these trees the best chance of establishment so they grow into a high-yielding crop for harvesting in the future.
This photo made me take a moment to realise and appreciate everything that leads up to the point of restocking sites like this one; the harvesting of the first rotation crop, the ground preparation for replanting, the delivery of young trees from the nurseries and then the actual planting of the trees. All of this is done to keep our essential home-grown timber supply growing while also safe-guarding livelihoods and contributing to the rural economy."

Isla Campbell, Forest Manager (runner-up)


Runner-up photograph by Isla Campbell




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