ICF AGM & Elections 2023

Our 2023 AGM will take place on Tuesday 25 April at 17:00 at Edgbaston Stadium (Banqueting Suite) in Birmingham.

Votes will be taken at the AGM to appoint auditors and to approve a Special Resolution to amend Subscription Rates from January 2024. If you cannot attend the AGM, and you are a Professional Member or Fellow, you can vote in advance online. You must vote for the election of an Educational & Scientific Trust (EST) Trustee before the AGM.

You can view the members who stood uncontested and have therefore been elected as President, Vice President, and Councillor, and the candidates standing for election as an EST Trustee.

Honorary Officers


There is one candidate standing for President and so will be declared elected at the AGM.




Geraint Richards MVO FICFor

Geraint is the Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall and to His Majesty The King. He is responsible for the management of the trees, woodlands and forests across the Duchy of Cornwall’s extensive land-holding and is involved with other estates associated with His Majesty The King. Geraint graduated in 1992, with a degree in Forestry from Bangor University in North Wales, and then worked for four years for the Forestry Commission before taking up his current position with the Duchy of Cornwall. Geraint is also involved with a wide range of tree-related organisations and initiatives, both nationally and internationally.

Geraint was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 2017 and, in 2019, he was awarded the Royal Forestry Society’s Gold Medal for distinguished services to forestry. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and the current Vice-President.

Vice President

There is one candidate standing for Vice President and so will be declared elected at the AGM.




Andrew Sowerby FICFor

Graduating from Aberdeen in 2001, Andrew began his career with the Forestry Commission in South Wales.  After 15 years in the public sector covering roles in Forest Planning, Harvesting & Marketing and Operational Support Andrew joined Pryor & Rickett Silviculture in 2016 as a Forest Manager based in Brecon. He readily adjusted to serving private clients, charities and public bodies and winning competitive contracts which led to his appointment as a director in 2022. Andrew is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, the chair of the Confor committee in Wales and coordinates Mbale Coed, a charity that supports tree planting in the Mbale region of eastern Uganda. 



There are three candidates for three vacancies so all will be declared elected at the AGM.




John Browne FICFor

After receiving a BSc in Ecological Science from the University of Edinburgh, John’s academic journey continued at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Forestry in 1990. He joined the Forestry Commission’s graduate entry fast stream programme and was awarded Professional membership of the Institute in 1994. John’s work has taken him from Scotland to South England, North England to Wales, Edinburgh and back to Wales, where he is currently Senior Specialist Advisor Land at Natural Resources Wales. John has contributed greatly to the Institute where he has spoken at regional and national events, submitted articles for TREES magazine and was an elected Council member from 2018-2022.




Michael Cresswell FICFor

Michael began his journey in the sector studying Forestry at Bangor University, culminating in a master’s degree. Following a year in the Highlands and Islands with Scottish Forestry, he returned to Wales and initially worked in land management for Natural Resources Wales and more recently in forest operations. This is where he leads a team undertaking planning, harvesting and establishment on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate in Mid Wales. Mike is an Institute Council member and has been a Professional member since 2017. He is also on the Inaugural Executive Board for the Global Network for Forestry Young Professionals.




Dr Gary Kerr FICFor

Gary is the Principal Silviculturist in Forest Research based at Alice Holt Lodge in Surrey.  From 2001-2010, he was the Editor-in-Chief of Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, the Institute’s scientific journal published by Oxford University Press. He has worked in Forest Research for most of his career focussing on applied forest science with a special interest in continuous cover silviculture and species diversification. During his career, he has been a Research Group Leader with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations and is currently vice-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Forest Institute.

Professional Members

There are two candidates for two vacancies so both will be declared elected at the AGM.




Brendan Callaghan MICFor

Brendan is Head of Operational Delivery at Scottish Forestry, responsible for key government forestry and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) programmes including the Climate Change Plan tree planting target and the £60m per annum Forestry Grant Scheme. Brendan has a strong track record of working with environmental and industry stakeholders to develop and lead environmental initiatives, has led Scottish Forestry’s stakeholder group since 2013 and was previously Chair of the Red Squirrels Northern England partnership. Prior to this Brendan held a range of senior roles within the Forestry Commission, including Area Director for South West England and Conservator for North East England. He has a degree in Ecological Science from Edinburgh University.




Elaine Harrison MICFor

Elaine did not come from the conventional route, she came from commercial horticulture, using her contract management skills and BSc in Countryside Management, transferring these skills to gain a job with Natural Resources Wales as a harvesting contract manager. Following this, Elaine learnt to manage establishment contracts as well as planning coupes. She has managed a forestry programme for clearfell, thinning and establishment, and is now a team leader in forest operations, managing a team of eight foresters. Alongside working full time, she studied at Bangor University for a MSc in Forestry, as well as gaining Chartered Forester status in 2022.

Educational & Scientific Trust

There is currently one vacancy and two nominations.

Dr Sallie Bailey FICFor

I’m Deputy Chief Science Advisor for the Scottish Government in the areas of environment, natural resources and agriculture. My role is to bring scientific evidence to the centre of decision-making in government and to provide oversight and assurance of science capability and activities in policy areas of environment, natural resources and agriculture, I advise Ministers, government officials and government agencies.

Previously, I’ve held roles in the Forestry Commission; regional manager for Forestry and Land Scotland; in environmental regulation as a Conservator; and, as a senior analyst I advised Government on policy development, EU environmental legislation and led research commissioning (natural capital, biodiversity, ecosystems, sustainable forest management, soil & carbon, peat, water, deer management, INNS and social aspects of forestry).

Prior to joining the Forestry Commission, I lived in California, USA where I completed a post-doctorate at Stanford University on forests and ecosystems in the tropics of Costa Rica, arid ecosystems of Nevada and the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. I began my career with UK Government’s Statutory Nature Conservation Agencies, following completion of my PhD at the University of Nottingham.




Dr Julia Garritt MICFor

I’d like a chance to sit on the Educational & Scientific Trust to contribute to the work of the Institute, and to help members take forward their forestry education and to inspire other members with their experiences. I offer you 30 years of professional experience which I hope will complement the work of the other Trustees.

I’ve worked for 13 years in Forestry Commission Scotland / Scottish Forestry, and before that as various things from laboratory scientist to land use planner. I worked as a part-time University tutor / lecturer (mostly Open University) for 23 years and have sat on several forestry-related Boards (including grant-giving ones). As regards forestry education, I’m currently working with the Institute to develop their project on UK Forestry Standard training, am a registered forestry STEM Ambassador, and part of Scottish Forestry’s plans to develop a STEM Ambassador project. Yet I’ve also had to resubmit my Institute critical analysis essay, had grant applications refused and job interviews gone badly. In other words, in combination I offer you a range of hard-won insights and experiences that would make me an engaged, supportive and constructive Trustee.

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