Woodland Heritage’s unique breadth of interest in science, innovation and practise, and its ability to bridge the always mystifying divide between growers and end-users, has always been inspiring to me.
At the start of my career in the early 1990s, Woodland Heritage provided professional personal support of incalculable value, as I worked in the small and under-funded field of private sector forestry research. They supported many of my early Walnut silviculture and genetic trials, and enabled me to travel to centres of hardwood excellence in Italy and the USA.
I repaid this debt by publishing my work in their journal and in the peer-reviewed press, so important for scientists, always ensuring the generous support of WH was acknowledged. I also co-authored Woodland Hertiage’s pruning leaflets. In my role as Secretary of the British & Irish Hardwoods Improvement Programme (2001-04), I fully realised how crucial the financial support of WH was in underpinning their important work.
When I was approached at the end of 2004 and asked if I would consider being a trustee, I was flattered and honoured. Since my appointment as Trustee in 2005, I have been pleased to be able repay some of my personal debt to Woodland Heritage, and to help support many of its innovative activities. Forestry is at an important juncture in a political sense, and unparalleled new opportunities are emerging for the sector. I hope to help steer WH along a dynamic path whilst keeping it true to its roots. Finally, Woodland Heritage is also about people, and I cannot say how fortunate we are to embrace such a knowledgeable membership from such a wide cross-section of interests. Woodland Heritage field days are ‘par excellence’.