As another successful Wood Awards programme draws to a close, it’s worth reflecting on how this annual showcase celebrating great design and craftsmanship in the world’s most natural material continues to capture the interest of architects and designers.

The past six years have seen many of the most talented and distinguished names in British architecture and design entering their projects. And many of these projects, such as the Savill Building in Windsor Great Park, now enjoy an iconic status around the world.

In this difficult year we are delighted to have seen a rise in entries across the categories. The expansion of the furniture category encouraged a wider variety of entries and, once again, the standard and variety of the projects presented our distinguished judges with some difficult decisions.

This year’s digital communication programme and simplified entry process, via the website, are both part of our commitment to improve and develop the Wood Awards to meet the demands of today’s digital world and reach out to our audiences. And this year a new trophy, designed by Jonathan Tibbs and Jason Muteham from the Building Crafts College, has given us what we hope will become an instantly recognisable symbol of the Wood Awards in years to come – something like an ‘Oscar’!

Not surprisingly, securing sponsorship has been a difficult task this year, with reduced marketing budgets taking their toll. But thanks to the commitment and tremendous loyalty of our major sponsors and some tight budget management we have achieved another successful Wood Awards, with increased entry numbers and a superb event.

And once again, our judges have been unstinting with their time, travelling throughout the UK to decide our winners.

Very soon we will start planning for 2010, with an eye on increased entry levels and higher profile. As we start this planning process I urge the timber industry to reflect on the burgeoning success of the Wood Awards over the past six years, and to seriously consider the potential benefits of being associated with this unique celebration of excellent design in the world’s most sustainable and beautiful material.