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ICF Announces Two Awards for Forestry Excellence

Ian Ross web

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) has announced two awards for excellence in forestry. Ian Ross OBE FICFor has been awarded the prestigious Institute Medal, while James Hepburne Scott has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute.

Ian Ross is recipient of ICF’s highest award, the Institute Medal, for his commitment to professional excellence in forestry. Ian, known to many as Willie, is currently Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage, in addition to chairing Forestry Commission Scotland’s National Forest Land Scheme Assessment Panel. As a Highland Councillor for 13 years, he was active on sustainability, renewable energy and community engagement issues within both the Highland Council and in the wider forestry sector. A graduate in Forestry from Aberdeen University, he was later the senior lecturer at the Scottish School of Forestry, where he led on the development of its first degree course. He has been an ICF member for 33 years, and a Fellow for nearly 15. He has sat on numerous ICF regional and national committees, including the Council, Professional and Educational Standards Committees, the Educational and Scientific Trust, and the ICF North Scotland Regional Group.

Ian Ross web

Ian Ross OBE FICFor

Ian said: “I am delighted and surprised to be awarded the Institute’s medal – it is an enormous privilege and honour for me. The Institute has played an important part in my professional life – an opportunity to maintain my own knowledge and skills, learn from others and also hopefully make some small contribution to our sector. Although not involved in the forest industry on an everyday basis, I still consider myself a professional forester and this also reflects the positive way our profession has developed – it is most certainly about the more traditional forest products, but is also very much about the wider public benefits forestry can deliver.”

Meanwhile James Hepburne Scott has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute, which honours outstanding services to the forestry sector. This is an exclusive award, with only 14 previous recipients, and entitles the use of the post-nominals “FICFor (Hon)”.

James Hepburne Scott web

James Hepburne Scott FICFor (Hon)

James Hepburne Scott is director of Forest Carbon Ltd, chairman of the River Tweed Forum and Vice-President of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society. He was formerly Sales Director of Alba Trees nursery and Scotland chairman of the Forestry and Timber Association prior to the formation of Confor. He has a small farm in the Scottish Borders where he has been an enthusiastic planter of productive woods.

The award recognises James’ contribution to the forestry sector, in particular his long-time lobbying of government for greater support for UK forestry. James was among the first to identify the carbon market as an opportunity for UK forestry and to date, Forest Carbon has enabled over 3,000 hectares of new forest creation.

Speaking of this award, he said “I thank the Institute most sincerely for this award which has touched me deeply. I hope to help the Institute grow the reputation of British forestry and encourage good young people to make it their career.”

Acknowledging both ICF award winners, Institute President David Henderson-Howat FICFor said:

“We are delighted that James Hepburne Scott has agreed to become an Honorary Fellow. He is an eloquent advocate for forestry, and his energy and commitment have been crucial in converting the idea of a forest carbon market into reality.

“Ian Ross is one of our most distinguished Fellows, and it is fantastic that we can recognise his achievements through our highest award, the Institute’s Medal. In addition to his wider public duties and his long service to forest education, Ian has played a major role in securing greater public participation in forestry.”

Ian and James will receive their awards at the forthcoming ICF National Conference – The Timber Supply Chain: Dynamics and Opportunities, which takes place 27-28 April in Newcastle. Visit for further information.

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