THREE experienced forestry professionals have become trustees of Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards to help restart the programme in 2021 after the 2020 Awards had to be cancelled because of COVID-19.

Richard Howe, former head of international forestry, standards & certification at the Forestry Commission, is joined on the board of trustees by Peter Whitfield, business development director at Tilhill, and Malcolm Young, forestry team leader at SAC Consulting.

Angela Douglas, executive director of Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards, said: “After the disappointment of cancelling the Awards programme for 2020, we are delighted to be able to look ahead to 2021 with three new trustees of the highest calibre.

“They bring very significant experience across a wide range of forestry disciplines and a tremendous set of skills and we look forward to working with them on many future celebrations of our fine forests and wonderful woodlands.”

Forestry Journal: Richard Howe.Richard Howe.

Mr Howe, Mr Whitfield and Mr Young applied to join the board as part of a planned succession strategy.

Two long-serving trustees – Chris Inglis, Chair, and Sir Patrick Hunter Blair, who joined the board in 2008 and 2009 respectively – have decided to step down in the near future. The three new trustees will join Wilma Harper, Guy Watt and Angela Douglas on the board.

Angela Douglas continued: “Chris and Pat have given many years of superb service to these Awards and I’m sure that they won’t be strangers to us in future. On behalf of everyone connected with the Awards, I would like to put on record my heartfelt thanks for their immense contributions.”

Richard Howe joined the Forestry Commission in 1989 and worked for seven years as conservator for south-west Scotland. He was transferred to Edinburgh in 1999 to work on policy and was responsible for the UK Forestry Standard, as well as international work and certification.

Forestry Journal: Peter Whitfield.Peter Whitfield.

Peter Whitfield has spent more than 40 years in commercial forestry, including 14 years in Swaziland where he managed 70,000 ha of fast-growing pine plantations. He has worked for Tilhill since 2002 in a variety of roles, including director of timber operations.

Malcolm Young has worked in forestry for 18 years, initially with Tilhill and then with Eamonn Wall & Co. He has been a senior forestry consultant with SAC Consulting for almost five years and took on the role of forestry team leader in February 2018.

Angela Douglas added: “I am very grateful to our new trustees and also to their organisations, who have been very supportive of the Awards programme – and of course to all our generous sponsors and supporters.

“Everyone has been very understanding and supportive after we took the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Awards and we are already looking forward to 2021!

“We were very encouraged to receive a good number of entries for the planned 2020 programme. These will be carried forward into the 2021 Awards.”

More details are available at

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