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The Peter Savill award

for Significant Contribution to the British Forest Industry

The Prize

Each year Woodland Heritage will recognise the contribution of an individual who has significantly benefitted British forestry by awarding a cash prize. The prize will be awarded annually unless no worthy candidates are nominated.


The contribution made by the selected individual to forestry must be in sympathy with the objectives of Woodland Heritage, and in one of the following areas of forestry:

  • silviculture
  • research
  • marketing
  • wood processing
  • education

Normally the prize will focus on a contribution to one of the above areas with an emphasis on Britain, broadleaves and lowland forestry, although not exclusively so.


  • The prize is appropriate for any candidate meeting the criteria, i.e. this is not a prize aimed at any one group such as students (who are already catered for quite well by Woodland Heritage).
  • WH Trustees are not eligible. The Awardee will accept the prize in his or her private capacity and agree to assist with publicity, including contributing to (but not necessarily authoring) an article for the WH journal.

Method of selecting candidates

  • Each WH Trustee will propose one or more candidates at each December Trustees’ Meeting, and the winner will be agreed by a vote.




Susan trained originally as a journalist but with environmental issues coming to the fore in the early 1970s, she decided to qualify as a town and country planner – with an emphasis on rural policy. She worked for a number of years in private practice as a planner and later as an environmental consultant. In 1980 she joined the head office team of the Country Landowners Association (now the Country Land & Business Association) as their Land Use Adviser specialising in conservation, forestry, public access and the rural economy. She was an early member of the growing band of women attracted into forestry by the increasing emphasis on its social and environmental benefits as well as timber. In 1991, she was appointed to lead the development team for planning, and gaining support for, England’s newest forest, the 200 square mile National Forest in the Midlands. 

Susan subsequently became the first Chief Executive of the Government-backed company set up in 1995 to carry out the resulting Forest Strategy – a post she retired from in 2006. Susan was awarded the OBE for services to forestry in January 2000. The National Forest is now well underway. Seven million trees have been planted transforming the former coalfield, settlements and farmland into a multi-purpose Forest. The Forest is delivering wide ranging landscape enhancement and nature conservation benefits as well as stimulating economic and social regeneration of the area. Susan is a great admirer of Woodland Heritage and its work and they share many ideals. In her time at the Forest she constantly urged the need for quality timber growth through sound woodland planting and management.

In order to ensure good practice the National Forest Company advocates a realistic commercial incentive and the development of a strong local market for woodland products. Woodland Heritage and The National Forest could well share the mantra – “Grow Trees, Use Wood”.

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