Yeo Valley Woodland triumphs in Devon competition with dual awards

Yeo Valley Woodland has been awarded the titles of Best Community Woodland and Best Overall Woodland in the Devon Woodland Competition.

The Friends of Yeo Valley group received £500 for winning the best community woodland category, and The Newman Perpetual Challenge Trophy was awarded for the best overall woodland.

The announcement was made at the Devon County Show on Friday, May 17, where Andrew Moulton, parks manager at North Devon Council, accepted the winnings on behalf of the council's parks team and the Friends of Yeo Valley Woodland community group. The competition is run by the Devon County Agricultural Association and sponsored by the Forestry Commission.

The judges, Mark Prior and Ross Kennerley, praised Yeo Valley Woodland as “an excellent example of a well-developed community woodland.” The woodland was planted primarily by school children and volunteers 14 years ago.

"There is an enthusiastic ‘friends of’ group who meet and have work parties regularly. The site is generally well-used and also has arranged events throughout the year. The local council provides good support, as evidenced by the large additional new woodland planted adjacent to enlarge the site and bring the accessible woodland to the local hospital site," the judges noted.

Andrew said: "I am incredibly proud of Yeo Valley Woodlands' achievement in winning the Devon Woodland Competition. This award reflects the tireless work of our dedicated volunteers and the commitment of the parks team. Without the Friends of Yeo Valley volunteers group, there would be no community woodland. Their joint effort and passion for this space have transformed it into a cherished community asset."

If you are interested in joining The Friends of Yeo Valley Community Woodland community group and contributing to the upkeep of this award-winning woodland, please contact the council’s parks department via email at parks@northdevon.gov.uk or call 01271 388326. The group meets at the Silverwood Heights entrance on the second Sunday of each month from 10am until 12pm. Everyone is welcome, and all equipment is provided.