Grampian Regional Forestry Forum

Meeting minutes

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Forum members

Chair: Matt Hommel

  • Managing Director, Christie-Elite Nurseries Ltd
  • Director, Dulnain Plant Ltd.
  • Chair, Altyre Sawmill
  • Chair, Scottish Tree Health Advisory Plant Production Group
  • Vice Chair ConFor Nursery Producers Group and HTA (Tree and Hedging) Steering Group
  • Professional and serving Council Member, Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Highlands & Islands Forest Industry Cluster (Steering Group)

Claire Glaister

  • Chartered Forester with 20 years experience in both public and private sectors
  • Director of RDI involved with a number of key industry work areas including Scottish Forest Industries
  • Cluster, training & business support programmes, woodland strategy development & timber transport initiatives
  • Associate Assessor for Forestry Commission Learning & Development
  • Sits on a number of industry educational committees.

Denise Reed

  • Scottish Natural Heritage Area Manager for Tayside and Grampian Area.
  • Over 30 years of working with SNH and its predecessor body, The Nature Conservancy Council; firstly in Yorkshire, then Dumfries and Galloway, Rum and Tayside.
  • Management of National Nature Reserves including woodland reserves, livestock management and forestry issues: Rum, Cairnsmore of Fleet, Corrie Fee, Muir of Dinnet.
  • Trustee of Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust and previously a founding Director of Angus Environment Trust.
  • EU structural funds: formerly SNH rep on both the Upland Stirling &Highland Tayside and Dumfries and Galloway EU 5b structure fund environment sub-committees and previously oversaw SNH delivery of theConservation of Atlantic Salmon in Scotland EU LIFE project.
  • Long standing involvement in forestry issues, including casework and catchment management projects.
  • Particular interest in partnership working initiatives.

Paul Manson

  • Company consulting to and providing Forestry, Arboricultural, Environmental Management solutions to the Private and Public sector. Consultant Land and Forest Manager with 30 years experience in Forestry, Environmental and Rural Business issues.
  • Professional member of the Arboricultural Association Ltd.
  • Inception and creation of Community Woodland learning experience and trails in the North East of Scotland, working with Stakeholders and Communities to achieve a better understanding of Forestry, the Environment and Climate Change.
  • Innovation and forward thinking for the future of Scotland's Forestry and climate change.
  • Research into direct seeding to recreate natural regeneration of native and non native species to meet future targets for tree planting in Scotland, including flood mitigation by upland planting.
  • Instrumental in implementing new Arboricultural practices HSE Work at heights. Advising on legislation relating to safety.
  • Biomass/wood-fuel and recycling implementation of processes to recycle green waste using Integrated Biomass heating systems, external advisor too many large scale users of Biomass. Advice and management systems as well as product to market research for Northumberland based projects and large scale projects within the North East of Scotland.
  • Low impact Forestry and harvesting systems.

Karen Cunningham

  • Conservation Officer with RSPB Scotland, with specific responsibilities for Moray and Aberdeenshire.
  • 13 years experience working with RSPB.
  • Interest in forestry issues as role involves responding to forestry casework and strategic plans and providing advice on priority bird species and habitats, including capercaillie and black grouse.

Alison Espie

  • independent ecological consultant, Chartered Environmentalist
  • 31 years experience of advising rural land managers on environmental issues, including woodland creation and management, especially riparIan woodland, habitat management for Capercaillie, and impact of browsing animals
  • 4 years work as Native Woodlands Surveyor for Forest Research, contributing to Forestry Commission's Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (NWSS)
  • Chair of Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum
  • particularly interested in the Biodiversity of Native Woodlands, Deer Management, Forests and Water, and Access issues

Scott Petrie

  • Over 20 years experience in the rural sector.
  • Company Director at Five Glens Consultancy Ltd; an independent company focussing on rural business management.
  • Extensive knowledge of working with senior politicians, civil servants, industry bodies and landowners to advance the well-being of those living and working in rural Scotland.
  • Director of Rural Skills Scotland.
  • Particular interest in promoting and developing meaningful and progressive careers in the rural sector.

Stewart Johnston

  • Principal Agricultural Officer for Grampian: Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division
  • 22 years experience in management / inspection of land based subsidies / regulation
  • Forestry Forum member 2007-2009

Derek McDonald

  • Over 25 years experience in forest nurseries
  • NE Regional Chair, Scottish Forestry and Timber Technologies Leadership Group
  • Currently Industry Support Executive (Rural & Maritime) with Aberdeenshire Council

Will Boyd-Wallis

  • Head of Land Management and Conservation for the Cairngorms National Park Authority since 2005 covering land management support, landscape and ecology advice and promoting "Cairngorms Nature".
  • Prior to that employed by the John Muir Trust, initially as Conservation manager for Sandwood Estate in Northwest Sutherland; latterly covering all aspects of JMT policy and community Partnerships from the Isle of Skye to Knoydart and from North Harris to Ben Nevis

Neil Crookston

  • Branch Manager for Scottish Woodlands Ltd North East Scotland office in Fochabers, responsible for the day to day running of the business in the Grampian area.
  • Manages a wide range of forest properties including traditional estates, commercial plantations, farms and native woodlands. Work includes forest planning, timber harvesting, replanting and maintenance.
  • Involved in implementing a range of new woodland creation sites from large hill afforestation to small farm woodlands.