Project for small-scale private forest owners wins LEADER Rural Inspiration Awards!
The ceremony of the Rural Inspiration Awards, recognising inspiring initiatives funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), awarded one winning project in each thematic category from the overall list of 25 nominees. The thematic category LEADER was won by “Tiges et Chavées” project, which promotes sustainable management of small privately-owned forests in the Walloon region in Belgium.

During the event ‘NetworX – Inspiring Rural Europe’, organized by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), the ceremony of the Rural Inspiration Awards took place. Expert jury selected one winning project in each thematic category from the overall list of 25 nominees.

The winner of the category “LEADER” is Tiges et Chavées, a project that supports small-scale private forest owners to implement effective sustainable forest management. The project addresses the highly fragmented and small-scale structure of privately-owned forests in the area in Condroz’s part of Walloon region. Due to this fragmentation, most of the forest areas were not managed and did not contribute to rural development, despite covering 25% of the focus area.

The Local Action Group (LAG) of the Tiges et Chavées territory launched their “forest” project in 2016 to support sustainable forest management in the area, by offering training, tailored advice and awareness raising for forest owners and by promoting the collective management of small private forests. The project also aimed to create a social enterprise for construction work using local wood. With this objective in mind, the LAG is developing links with training enterprises that are active in the forestry sector.


"I have inherited a small plot of forest from my parents, but I had no knowledge on forest management. The project has helped in this management. It's a pleasure to give life again to this small part of forest linked to the history of my parents!" said Christian Houzard, forest owner who participated to the grouped sale of wood, in the project description.


Tiges et Chavées - Sustainable management of private forests, Full Project Description