Forestry Award for Hilton College Estate

Hilton College a leading private boys' school in South Africa is famous for SA_Forestrymany reasons including excellent education, the annual arts festival, gorgeous grounds and unforgettably beautiful buildings. This year Hilton College has earned another fine accolade for their trophy case, the prestigious NCT Tree Farmer of the Year Award for 2010.

This award is presented to acknowledge excellence in sustainable forestry practice. Three hundred and forty five hectares of the 1762 hectare estate is planted with wattle. Other usage computes to 150 ha for annual cropping, 30 ha to kikuyu, 620 ha for natural grazing with occasional indigenous bush, 550 ha for conservation and 67 ha for other infrastructure including the school.

The wattle was originally planted on the school grounds to supply the school with fuel for heating but since the arrival of electricity the focus has changed. The forestry operation is managed by Sax Solomon, a Hilton Old Boy and Cedara Agricultural College graduate. The entire estate is owned by The Hiltonian Society, a Section 21 company, not for gain.

The estate is home to a wildlife centre and nature reserve run by a dedicated conservation team and boosted by pupil involvement. The school ensures pupils are afforded many opportunities to spend time outdoors involved in activities which support conservation.

The forestry operation attributes success to good planning, a simple system, environmental consideration, the great team headed by Senzo Mwelase, the participation of the Estate General manager Rowan Welsford, the Conservation team's efforts and the priceless input from NCT advisors. The activities which have been recognized by this presentation of the NCT Tree Farmer of the Year Award echo Hilton College's hallmark focus on teamwork.

Resource: SA Forestry August 2010