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Institute welcomes new Fellows

We are delighted to announce that six members have been awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Foresters for their contribution to the profession and Institute.

Dr Hilary Allison FICFor – Consultant, Green Goals

Hilary has more than 35 years of experience in forestry, biodiversity, ecosystem services and assessment, both nationally and internationally. Her career has focussed on policy, advocacy, communications, strategy and governance at trustee and executive level. She has a Masters degree and PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge, and a Masters degree in Conservation from University College London. Hilary has worked for the Woodland Trust, UNEP-WCMC, and is now an independent consultant. She was appointed a Forestry Commissioner in 2020.

“I am truly honoured to become a Fellow of the Institute; the breadth of its membership is vital and I hope I can inspire others with similar experience in forest and environmental policy to become members too.”

Steve Drysdale FICFor – Round Timber Buyer, Mendip Forestry Ltd

After graduating from Newton Rigg, Steve began his career in the timber trade with the Howarth Timber Group. He joined Forest Thinnings Limited, later becoming EFG, in Hampshire in the late eighties. Steve joined Mendip Forestry Ltd where he continues working in the southern half of England, purchasing and marketing large volumes of round timber each year from both the private and public sectors. He became a Chartered Forester in 1991 and was awarded an MBA from the University of Durham in 1995.

Gordon Pfetscher FICFor – Head of Estate, Woodland Trust

Gordon acquired his first woodland in the Chilterns while a teenager and started his forestry career clearing up windblown trees following the 1990 storm on a private estate. After graduating from Bangor University, Gordon worked in investment forestry with John Clegg & Co, leaving to pursue forestry studies at Oxford. Gordon has been a PME assessor and member of the Institute’s Professional and Educational Standards Committee. Seeing colleagues he has mentored through the PME process gain chartered status is the most rewarding part of Gordon’s work.

Simon Pryce FICFor – Independent Arboricultural Consultant

Simon graduated from Bangor University in 1977 and his early career included tree surgery, timber contracting and lowland estate forestry followed by working as a manager and subcontractor for Southern Tree Surgeons in the UK and Ireland.  He became an independent arboriculturist in 1997.  He has been an examiner for the RFS Professional Diploma and is an assessor for the Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant scheme.  His work includes building subsidence investigation, decay assessment and safety surveys.  He works as an expert witness and advised the second defendant in the case of Stagecoach -v- Hind & Steel. 

Neil Stoddart FICFor – Regional Land Manager, Natural Resources Wales

Neil is a committed, experienced and a passionate professional forest manager working in Wales. He has led and delivered improvements to timber sales on the Welsh public forest estate, improving customer relationships, sale volumes, contract management and increased income to over £30million/year. Before joining Natural Resources Wales in 2013, Neil was a Forest District Manager at the Forestry Commission. He is a valued Assessor for the Institute’s Professional Membership Entry examinations.

“I consider it a privilege having gained an earned recognition from the Institute of Chartered Foresters as a Fellow, and grateful for the nominations and award for industry contributions beyond my day-job.

The award of Fellowship to the Institute is a personal career achievement for me, one which will hopefully encourage new members to take part in the many opportunities being a professional member the ICF offers, and an award which inspires me to continue life-long-learning and my ongoing efforts within the forest sector.”

Joe Watts FICFor – Head of Sustainable Forest Management, Forestry Commission

A graduate of Bangor University and the University of Oxford, Joe worked in Lesotho and Cameroon on rainforest conservation and botanical inventory before returning to the UK and joining the Forestry Commission in 1996. His time with the Forestry Commission has included forest management in Thetford, woodland creation in Thames Chase Community Forest, corporate planning, secondment to Defra, policy advice and is currently Head of National Grants and Regulations. Since 2018, Joe has offered his time and knowledge as an Assessor for the Institute’s Professional Membership Entry examinations.

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