ICF is governed by its Council, elected from within the Chartered Membership and headed by the President and Vice President. There are two main committees – Executive and the Professional and Educational Standards Committee (PESC). The remit of each is set down in the Laws of the Institute (currently the Professional Standards and Educational Standards are run jointly). In addition, the Council have appointed a Professional Complaints Panel and an Examination Board, both of which operate independently from the Council.
Alastair Sandels FICFor
Alastair Sandels qualified as Professional Member of the ICF in 1992 and was appointed Fellow of the Institute in 2010. He completed the MSc in Forestry & Land Management at Oxford in 1982. With over 35 years’ experience in the industry, he is currently a Director of The Forestry Industry Safety Accord (FISA). Formally MD of Fountains Forestry, in 2016 he formed Trioss, a business with global reach, whose focus is organisational development and capacity building in the context of Climate Change Adaptation and Decision Mapping. Its services enable and open new routes to longer term resilience and identify barriers to taking effective action. Alastair was co-opted to Council in 2016 and served as Finance Officer to the ICF.
Sharon is a Chartered Arboriculturist with experience in local government and contracting. In 2007, she assumed the role of Managing Director for a private environmental consultancy. Since 2015 she is the Director of Sharon Hosegood Associates Ltd. Her specialisms are trees in relation to planning and construction, tree hazard management, and tree radar. Sharon is a Fellow of the Arboricultural Association, board member for Institute of Arboricultural Studies (Hong Kong) and an Expert Witness. She brings to the Institute a passion for promoting careers in arboriculture and forestry, spreading the word about trees in general, and improving the well-being of our society through improved environments. Sharon is an assessor for the Institute’s Examinations Board.
Alison is the Forestry Commission’s Director for their Southeast and London Area. Prior to this she was Area Director for the Southwest and in both roles has spent much of her time raising the profile of forestry and supporting the profession. A forestry graduate from Bangor University, Alison spent some 15 years working in the private forest sector until joining the Forestry Commission in the early 1990’s initially to manage operations in the New Forest. Subsequently she led a small team managing extensive development projects on the Public Forest Estate. She has been a member of the Institute since the mid 1980’s and is also a Trustee of the National Forest Company.
Ben started his career as a forestry contractor in northwest England before attending Newton Rigg. He subsequently spent twenty-two years working with Forestry Commission in south west England and latterly in northern Scotland. Initially working as a beat forester, he subsequently moved on to forest planning and became district manager in Lochaber Forest District before leaving the FC in 2016. He currently leads the forestry team for Bowlts Chartered surveyors providing forestry services for private estates across northern and central Scotland. Ben has a PhD in woodland and landscape history and has published articles across arrange of related topics.
John is a Senior Forestry Advisor at Natural Resources Wales. John has worked in many forestry roles in the public and private sectors in Scotland, England and Wales over a 30-year period, these roles included land management, harvesting, planning, certification, tree health, grants and regulations. He currently works for Natural Resources Wales. John has a degree in forestry from Aberdeen University and has been a professional member of the Institute for twenty-five years.
Until his recent retirement Richard was Head of International Forestry, Standards & Certification at Forestry Commission GB, based in Edinburgh. Richard has extensive experience of forestry spanning certification, rural use, and inner city renewal. He has also worked in landscape architecture, planning, arboriculture and consultancy. Richard joined the Forestry Commission in 1989 and worked for seven years as Conservator for SW Scotland. He was transferred to Edinburgh in 1999 to work on policy and has been responsible for the UK Forestry Standard, as well as international work and certification.
Robin started his career as a carpenter then studied Forestry in Bangor University. He then worked for Fountain Forestry as a forestry and utilities arboricultural manager in South and West Wales mainly. With a Masters in Building Surveying and relocating to London his career path turned to arboriculture and building surveying. As a professional member of both ICF and RICS and running his own small practice, Robin is keenly aware of the value of a vibrant and effective institute supporting members, promoting best practice and growing membership.
Andrew Sowerby FICFor
Andrew graduated from Aberdeen University in 2001 and worked in public sector forests throughout South Wales. He led the harvesting programme to clear Phytophtora infected larch and led on national forest planning standards, writing the Forestry Commission’s operational guidance for Forest Design Plans. Andrew currently works for Pryor & Rickett Silviculture managing woodlands for a wide range of clients, he is a member of the ICF committee in Wales and the coordinator of ‘Mbale Coed’ a group of volunteers supporting tree planting in Uganda.
Andrew started his career in 1981 as an Unskilled Forest Worker with the Forestry Commission in South Yorkshire. On completing the OND course at Newton Rigg in 1986 he returned to the FC and was posted to Sherwood as a Beat Forester. Following a period as District Forester, and after several district amalgamations, Andrew took up his current role as Head of Land Management for Central England in 2011. He is keen to promote the multiple benefits forests bring to society. Looking to the future he believes that the professional development of the next generation of foresters is vital. Andrew is currently the Institute’s Midlands Regional Group Chair.
Arboricultural consultant Mark Carter started out in agriculture and worked as a manager on a farm on the Isle of Wight before changing career and running his own tree surgery business. In 2004 he became a full-time consultant, eventually moving from the Isle of Wight to the New Forest where he is still based. He is a Fellow of the Institute, a Chartered Surveyor and has a diploma in arboriculture from the Royal Forestry Society.
Kerstin studied Ecology at Durham University and, looking to apply these skills, went on to gain an MSc in Environmental Forestry at Bangor University. Attracted by a modern forestry sector, where sustainable timber production is a major player in the Scottish economy, she joined Tilhill Forestry in 2011 where she was heavily involved in Tilhill’s research into alternative control methods for the large pine weevil and has comprehensive experience of forest certification under the UKWAS. In 2019 she joined Scottish Forestry where she has taken on a new role as Policy Support Officer, providing analysis and advice on climate change mitigation, carbon storage, resilience and environmental aspects of sustainable forest management. Kerstin has been a professional member since 2015 and sits on the South Scotland Regional Committee.
Andrew Vaughan FICFor
Andrew is the North Scotland region manager for Tilhill Forestry, responsible for a team of 36 staff managing 80,000ha across 250 forest properties north of the Central Belt. With over 34 years industry experience in all aspects of forestry across Scotland and the UK, he has served as an Exam Assessor since 2006 and is committed to increasing the professionalism and relevance of the Institute to the forest industry and wider society.
Graham Garratt FICFor
Graham is the director of Isis Forestry, which he created in 2010 as a woodland management constancy. Prior to this, he had been the managing director of Lockhart Garratt, which he co-founded in 1998. Graham has an MSc in Forestry and its Relation to Land Use from Oxford (1993) and has been a professional member of the ICF since 1996; a fellow since 2004. Graham has been co-opted on to Council, having previously been elected between 2006 and 2010, when he served as Finance Officer (2008-10). Since 2016, Graham has been an ICF representative on Forestry Commission England’s Applicants’ Focus Group. He is currently studying part-time for a PhD in the economic and environmental potential of rewilding in forestry at Nottingham University.
Jo O’Hara MICFor
After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economy, Jo has spent her whole career in forestry and land use. From operational supervisory work in the Lake District and Kielder; to forest planning and GIS development across England, Wales and Scotland; to developing government policy on CAP reform and agri-environment, and ultimately as a Forestry Commissioner and lead forestry advisor to the Scottish Government. Jo currently manages her own consultancy business working on a range of projects across the UK and Europe, and is also a non-executive Director of the low-carbon charity Changeworks.
Sonia Winder MICFor CEnv
Passionate about trees all her life, Sonia followed her degree from agricultural college with an MSC in Environmental Forestry from Bangor University. Apart from a graduate post with Norfolk County Council, Sonia has spent all her career in the private sector, and has worked for Tilhill in Wales since 1996. Having been a Chartered Forester for 24 years, Sonia decided it was time to give something back to our professional body through ICF Council.
Sonia’s work over the years has included everything from landscaping, utility arb and land restoration, to woodland management and veteran trees. She’s found the variety of work, and the breadth of our profession, always stimulating, and is excited to see the potential for trees to provide multiple public benefits being recognised now more than ever.
Alastair Sandels FICFor, President
Sharon Hosegood FICFor, Vice President
Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor, Executive & Technical Director, Secretary and Treasurer
Dr Stuart Glen, Member Services Director
Cheryl Symon, Finance Manager
Andrew Sowerby FICFor, Finance Officer
Professional and Educational Standards Committee (PESC)
Peter Whitfield FICFor, Chair
Steve McCartney FICFor, Chair
Professional Complaints Panel
John Warren, Chair
Educational & Scientific Trust
Chris Inglis FICFor, Chair