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Selkirk woodturner picked to fashion top nature prize

Last modified: 08 October 2013

Nature of Scotland Awards logo

Image: The RSPB

His work has ranged from carving intricate Celtic knotworks to making sculptural furniture for school playgrounds, and now the Borders-based woodturner has been chosen to fashion the prized accolades for a top conservation competition.

Forestry Commission Scotland are supporting the initiative and Scottish woodworkers by sponsoring the production of these bespoke Awards. Neil Fyffe has designed and hand crafted the winners’ trophies for the Nature of Scotland Awards 2013, using locally sourced, beautiful Scottish native wood. The annual competition, organised by RSPB Scotland, is a celebration of Scottish conservation, honouring the people and projects that have helped conserve our stunning natural heritage.

Having worked with native Scottish timber for two decades, Neil produces a variety of bespoke work, ranging from hand carving and sculpture to architectural joinery. His materials are sourced as locally as possible to his workshop in Selkirk.

Having taken inspiration from the Nature of Scotland Awards’ logo to form the basis of his design, Neil used sycamore to replicate the leaf shape, and elm to give character to the base.

He said: “It’s an honour to be asked to create this year’s Nature of Scotland Awards trophies. I’ve always loved working with wood. Seeing trees in our landscape is very inspiring, so using wood from sustainable sources is an important factor in choosing materials for my work. Different woods have different qualities of grain, flame and texture, and you have to work with its character to get the best results. The raw timber will often determine the final product.”

Sarah McDowell of RSPB Scotland, added: “Neil’s work is hugely impressive and we are delighted to have him design this year’s award. With a wealth of skill and talent, and a desire to work sustainably, he was an ideal choice to craft our prized accolades. His vision and unique design is a fitting tribute to the hard work and dedication of our winners.”

James McDougall, of the Forestry Commission Scotland, said: “The Nature of Scotland Awards is an outstanding initiative, as it celebrates the people whose work is helping to preserve our precious natural heritage at a time when Scottish biodiversity is facing serious threats. The award trophies are a small, but significant symbol of this recognition, made poignant by the use of Scottish elm in their crafting. The Forestry Commission Scotland is proud to be associated with the initiative.”

The RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards will be held on 30 October 2013 at The Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh. For more information visit:


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Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. We can all help by giving nature a home where we live.

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