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Professional Forester of the Year Winner Announced at Confor Dinner & Awards 2024

The Institute of Chartered Foresters is delighted to announce that Gordon Brown MICFor, Managing Director of TreeStory, has been awarded Professional Forester of the Year 2024.

Presented on 12 March at the Confor Dinner & Awards 2024, the award recognises contributions to the betterment of forestry on a community, regional, national or international level. Professional Forester of the Year is awarded on the basis of a specific project or a range of activities undertaken by a member of the Institute within the last three years.

Competition for this year’s award was strong, with the judging panel shortlisting four candidates from a significant number of submissions. Made up of four Institute Fellows, the judging panel included Steve McCartney FICFor (Chair), John Browne FICFor, Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor and Dr Mike Yerbury FICFor. In addition to Gordon, the other shortlisted candidates were Iwan Lloyd-Williams MICFor, DSHwood; Kenton Rogers MICFor, Treeconomics and Dr Eleanor Tew MICFor, Forestry England.

Commenting on his award, Gordon said:

“It is such an honour to have received this award, especially given the high calibre of the other nominees. I am incredibly grateful to the Institute for their recognition, and for the role they have played in the development of my career. As we are now in our fifth year at TreeStory, it is a hugely appreciated and timely recognition of all the hard work that has gone into trying to create a business committed to building a future where people and planet can thrive together.”

Chair of the judging panel, Steve McCartney FICFor, commented:

“Gordon’s career has traversed public, charity and private sector roles, and he has used his wide-ranging experience to found TreeStory, championing sustainable forestry and the benefits it offers to landscapes, resources and ecosystems. He combines his mantra that well-managed trees, woodlands and forests make the world a better place with a fierce value placed on people – treating them as he would like to be treated, speaking to others in finance, ecology and peatland management, and helping all to understand the critical role of professionalism within forestry. The judging panel and I found a clear and worthy winner in a strong field of shortlisted candidates.”

Since co-founding TreeStory in 2018, the business was the first woodland and habitat consultancy in the UK to be awarded B Corp accreditation. Gordon developed the TreeStory Woodland Charter to ensure all their projects put nature first through detailed, integrated management plans, based on his belief that producing high quality, local timber, as well as natural capital, can be done sustainably.

Gordon is a passionate advocate for professionalism and encourages all his staff to pursue chartered status. He has also supported the Institute as a Professional Membership Entry (PME) assessor despite the demands of a growing business.

From left to right: Geraint Richards MVO FICFor, Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor, Dr Eleanor Tew MICFor, Gordon Brown MICFor, Iwan Lloyd-Williams MICFor, Kenton Rogers MICFor, Steve McCartney FICFor, Louise Simpson.

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