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.


David Edwards FICForDavid Edwards FICFor

Since graduating from Aberdeen University in 1984, David has worked in the private sector, holding positions in Scotland, England and Wales. He is currently District Manager in Wales and Marches for Tilhill Forestry. His broad breadth experience of commercial Forestry and Landscaping includes 10 years working in utility arboriculture on the railways and powerlines. Prior to his election as Vice President then President, David served ICF as an examiner, member of Council and PESC, Finance Officer, committee member and Regional Group Chairman in Wales, as well as representing the Institute and wider sector externally.

Vice President

Alastair Sandels FICForAlastair 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.


Alison Field FICForAlison Field FICFor

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.


the profession, and encourage new ideas and innovation. Ben Lennon FICFor MRICS MADr Ben Lennon FICFor MRICS MA

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 Browne MICFor

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.


Matthew Rivers FICForMatthew Rivers FICFor BSc (Hons) For MBA CEnv

Matthew is the Director of Group Sustainability, Chairman of the Drax US business, Drax Biomass Inc, and a member of the Executive Committee of Drax Power. He is responsible for teams covering Drax’s global biomass sustainability credentials, for Communications, Public Affairs and Regulation and Markets. Prior to joining Drax, Matthew was the Director, Energy Biomass and then Director, Overseas Wood and Biomass Sourcing at UPM Helsinki. Previous positions also include Managing Director at Forestal Oriental, Uruguay, and Managing Director of UPM Tilhill. He has represented many industry bodies including Confor and the Forestry Commission Advisory Panel, and he was Chairman of the Forestry Contractors Association.

Richard Howe MICFor BSc MA

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 Howorth MICFor MRICS

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.


Chris Piper MICForChris Piper FICFor BSc (Hons) For

Chris has over 30 years’ experience as a professional forester, and currently leads his own forestry consultancy, CJ Piper & Co, based in Moray, Scotland. The variety of work he has undertaken over recent years has drawn into sharp focus the need to maintain and demonstrate the highest possible standards of professionalism, which simultaneously offers opportunities for promoting the Institute as the authoritative voice of forestry and arboriculture in the UK.


Andrew Sheridan MICForAndrew Sheridan MICFor CEnv BSc MSc

Andrew has worked for over 20 years in the fields of commercial forestry, lowland and urban woodland management, and biomass energy, all over the UK. He now promotes and regulates forestry in Central Scotland, holding the role of Woodland Officer at Forestry Commission Scotland. He was Honorary Secretary to the ICF Midlands Region between 2008 and 2012 and was the Technical Co-ordinator for the 2010 ICF Conference “Forestry and Energy”.


Crispin Thorn MICForCrispin Thorn FICFor MBA BSc (Hons)

Crispin is the Area Director for York and North East at Forestry Commission England. He has been a professional member of the Institute for over 20 years as well as a strong supporter at the local level, having previously chaired the North England Regional Group for 5 years. He is also currently an assessor supporting the entry of new Professional Members through the PME route.


Jim Waterson MICForJim Waterson MICFor MRICS

After more than two decades working in operational sawmilling, forestry and land management roles, Jim joined Harper Adams University as Principal Lecturer, Forestry and Forest Products. In this role he teaches forestry and develops specialist postgraduate forestry courses. As an ICF Councillor, he has a particular interest in connecting young motivated people to professional career routes in forestry and arboriculture and in working to create broader and deeper appreciation of the benefits that can flow from well-managed, economically-viable forests.


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.


Peter Wharton MICFor (Chartered Arboriculturist) FArborA BSc (Hons)

Peter is the Director of Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants and is a creative arboricultural consultant and Chartered Arboriculturist with over 15 years of combined experience within the public and private sectors. In recent years Peter has moved from a technical day-to-day job to now managing a team of knowledgeable and successful young professionals. He prides himself on providing solutions that ensure trees are considered to be assets rather than hindrances to development. Previously, Peter has been the Vice-Chair, a Trustee, and Director of the Arboricultural Association. Peter is currently an assessor on the Institute’s Examinations Board.


Executive Committee

David Edwards FICFor, President

Alastair Sandels FICFor, Vice President

Shireen Chambers FICFor, Executive & Technical Director, Secretary and Treasurer

Dr Stuart Glen, Member Services Director

Andy Lederer, Development Director

Cheryl Symon, Finance Manager

Andrew Sowerby MICFor, Finance Officer

Professional and Educational Standards Committee (PESC)

Jim Waterson MICFor MRICS, Chair

Examinations Board

Steve McCartney FICFor, Chair

Professional Complaints Panel

John Warren, Chair

Educational & Scientific Trust

Chris Inglis FICFor, Chair