New Chair for Forestry Forum in Highland and Islands

Forestry Commission Scotland today welcomed Dr Michael Foxley as the new Chair of Highland and Islands Forestry Forum.

The Forum, which advises the Commission on forestry policy and practice in the region, is made up of 12–15 members, who represent the economic, environmental and social forestry interests across Highland and Islands Conservancy.

Dr Foxley said;

"Forestry in the Highland and the Islands is providing much more benefits than ever before by  increasing timber production, by native woodland restoration and by expanding community forestry. A key  focus for the Forum is that these actions continue and that we have a friendly debate about working together and minimising conflicts.

“There are changes, opportunities and undoubtedly challenges ahead and it is important that a range of outside interests have an input into how Forestry Commission Scotland and the private sector conducts its business in Highland and the Islands. The recent forestry forum visit to Lochaline highlighted how communities are increasingly engaging with these challenges and opportunities - including those arising from the forthcoming legislation on community empowerment and land reform.

“I look forward to working with Commission staff and the Forum to ensure that local communities, businesses and conservation interests can all contribute to the benefits, health and vitality of forests in the area.”

A former Fort William GP and local Councillor for 26 years, Michael Foxley went on to become Leader of the Highland Council where he actively promoted the use of local timber. With a long interest in forestry and crofting he was the founding chair of the Sunart Oakwood Initiative.

As well as chairing the Further Education Regional Board for the Highland and Islands Michael is a board member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Highland Health Board, the University of the Highlands and Islands Court and a member of the Scottish Wildfire Forum.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.