Our Governance

The Institute of Chartered Foresters is governed by its Council, elected from within the Chartered membership and headed by the President and Vice President. There are two main committees - the Executive Committee and the Professional and Educational Standards Committee (PESC). The remit of each is set down in the Laws of the Institute. In addition, the Council have appointed a Professional Complaints Panel and an Examinations Board, both of which operate independently from the Council.

Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor


Sharon is a Chartered Arboriculturist with experience in local government and contracting. In 2007, she assumed the role of Managing Director for a private environmental consultancy. Since 2015 she is the Director of Sharon Hosegood Associates Ltd. Her specialisms are trees in relation to planning and construction, tree hazard management, and tree radar. Sharon is a Fellow of the Arboricultural Association, board member for Institute of Arboricultural Studies (Hong Kong) and an Expert Witness. She brings to the Institute a passion for promoting careers in arboriculture and forestry, spreading the word about trees in general, and improving the well-being of our society through improved environments.

Geraint Richards MVO FICFor

Vice President

Geraint is the Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall and hence is responsible for the management of the trees, woodlands and forests across the Duchy’s extensive land-holding in England and Wales.  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. The Duchy’s woodlands extend to some 6,000 acres (2,500 hectares) and contain a variety of species and forest types.  Geraint is also involved with a wide range of organisations and initiatives beyond the Duchy, both nationally and internationally. Geraint was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 2017 and in 2019 was awarded the Royal Forestry Society’s Gold Medal for distinguished services to forestry.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Alison Field FICFor

Council Member

Alison is the former Forestry Commission’s Director for the 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 1990s 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-1980s and is also a Trustee of the National Forest Company.

Dr Ben Lennon FICFor MRICS

Council Member

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 a district manager in Lochaber Forest District before leaving the Forestry Commission 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 a range of related topics.

John Browne MICFor

Council Member

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.

Richard Howe MICFor

Council Member

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

Council Member

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 the Institute of Chartered Foresters and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 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.

Mark Carter FICFor

Council Member

Arboricultural consultant Mark Carter started out in agriculture and worked as a manager on a farm on the Isle of Wight before changing career and running his own tree surgery business. In 2004 he became a full-time consultant, eventually moving from the Isle of Wight to the New Forest where he is still based. He is a Fellow of the Institute, a Chartered Surveyor and has a diploma in arboriculture from the Royal Forestry Society.

Andrew Vaughan FICFor

Council Member

Andrew is the North Scotland region manager for Tilhill Forestry, responsible for a team of 36 staff managing 80,000ha across 250 forest properties north of the Central Belt. With over 34 years industry experience in all aspects of forestry across Scotland and the UK, he has served as an exam assessor since 2006 and is committed to increasing the professionalism and relevance of the Institute to the forest industry and wider society.

Dr Gary Kerr FICFor

Council Member

Gary is the Principal Silviculturist in Forest Research based at Alice Holt Lodge in Surrey.  Since 2001, he has also had the honour of being 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.

Jo O’Hara MICFor

Council Member

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economy, Jo has spent her whole career in forestry and land use. From operational supervisory work in the Lake District and Kielder; to forest planning and GIS development across England, Wales and Scotland; to developing government policy on CAP reform and agri-environment, and ultimately as a Forestry Commissioner and lead forestry advisor to the Scottish Government. Jo currently manages her own consultancy business working on a range of projects across the UK and Europe, and is also a non-executive Director of the low-carbon charity Changeworks.

Sonia Winder MICFor CEnv

Council Member

Passionate about trees all her life, Sonia followed her degree from agricultural college with an MSc in Environmental Forestry from Bangor University. Apart from a graduate post with Norfolk County Council, Sonia has spent all her career in the private sector and has worked for Tilhill in Wales since 1996. Having been a Chartered Forester for 24 years, Sonia decided it was time to give something back to our professional body through Council. Sonia’s work over the years has included everything from landscaping, utility arboriculture and land restoration, to woodland management and veteran trees. She’s found the variety of work, and the breadth of our profession, always stimulating and is excited to see the potential for trees to provide multiple public benefits being recognised now more than ever.

Michael Cresswell MICFor

Council Member

Following a passion from a young age, Mike studied forestry at Bangor which culminated 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 now leads a team undertaking planning, harvesting and establishment on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate in Mid Wales. Mike has been a Professional member since 2017, receiving the award for excellence, and sits on the Wales Regional Committee following a tenure as Secretary. He is also the Business Development Director on the Inaugural Executive Board for the Global Network for Forestry Young Professionals (ForYP). With approximately 35 years left to give to the sector, he is keen to help those earlier in their career with mentorship, guidance and assistance coupled with promoting the sector.

Brendan Callaghan MICFor

Council Member

Brendan is the Interim CEO of Environmental Standards Scotland. He was previously Head of Operational Delivery with 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.

Executive Committee

Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor, President

Geraint Richards FICFor, Vice President

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

Dr Stuart Glen, Member Services Director

Denise Camilleri, Finance Manager

Louise Simpson, Development Director


Professional and Educational Standards Committee

Peter Whitfield FICFor, Chair

Examinations Board

Steve McCartney FICFor, Chair

Professional Complaints Panel

John Warren, Chair

Educational & Scientific Trust

Chris Inglis FICFor, Chair

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