INSTITUTE of Chartered Foresters (ICF) executive director Shireen Chambers was recently awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

It is in recognition of the contribution she has made to forestry, including her work with TREE AID, an international charity that works with communities in the drylands of Africa, of which Shireen has been chair since 2017.

She has been in her current role as executive director of the ICF since 2006 and has overseen a doubling of member numbers to the Institute in that time. She has held numerous non-executive board appointments, including her current post with TREE AID.

Shireen said: “It is a great honour for my work to be recognised but I am receiving it on behalf of the fantastic teams at both the Institute of Chartered Foresters and at TREE AID, who both contribute in very different ways to making a difference with trees. We need skilled professionals to ensure that the planting of trees and woods, their conservation, use and management are essential elements of our common life, whether we are in Africa or the UK.

“Forestry has provided me with a wonderful career and I would encourage any young person wanting to make a difference to the world to think about working in a sector that has a pivotal role in helping to combat climate change on a global scale.”

Meanwhile, the ICF has appointed Louise Simpson as development director. With 20 years’ experience in evidence gathering, policy development, strategy, campaigning, stakeholder engagement, fundraising and people management, Louise will play a key role in establishing and cultivating partnerships to support professionalism in forestry and arboriculture.

Louise commented: “It is a very important time for forestry and arboriculture as the benefits of trees move up the political, environmental and social agenda in the UK, so I am delighted to be joining the Institute at this time.”