ONE of the UK's leading foresters has paid tribute to others after being recognised in the New Year Honours.

Tom Jenkins was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the forestry sector following a distinguished career. 

Currently head of Forest Research in Wales, he is a well-known face in the industry through his long affiliation with the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF). A fellow since 2007 and having held a number of key roles, he was also awarded the Institute’s Medal – the ICF's highest honour – in 2022. 


Tom said: "It’s an amazingly privileged feeling to have received such a prestigious award simply because of my involvement in tree-related activities.

"I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been given opportunities by people who have put their faith in me over the years, and for the long-term support of my family.

"I very quickly came to realise that the forestry world is full of knowledgeable, generous, and visionary individuals who collectively have an amazing breadth of skills and talents. 

"I guess working with the long timescales generally dictated by the sustainable growth and management of trees and woodlands requires a certain mindset, and a degree of crystal ball gazing.

"For me, it’s primarily the people who have made ‘forestry’ such a brilliant subject area to be working in."

Tom, who was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and has since campaigned vociferously to support others with the condition, also paid tribute to foresters Bill Grant and John Voysey, who played an important role in his early career. 

He added: "I’d like to also thank Forest Research for making adaptations since my 2021 diagnosis with MND, so that I can hopefully continue to make 'contributions to the forestry sector' for as long as I am practically still able to." 

During his time with Forest Research, Tom has helped to produce the National Forest Evidence Review and a subsequent Woodland Creation in Wales Report, which was used to inform the Trees and Timber Deep Dive undertaken in June 2021 by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change in Wales.

Louise Simpson, executive director of the ICF, said: “The Institute could not be more delighted that Tom’s contribution to the forestry sector, and the Institute, has been recognised. Without dedicated and conscientious professionals like Tom, the Institute would not be able to grow, improve, and play its part in supporting forestry professionals to deliver targets in these very challenging times.”

Elsewhere, John Everitt, chief executive of the National Forest, has been honoured with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the King’s New Year Honours for his remarkable dedication to the field of conservation.

Forestry Journal: John Everitt, chief executive of the National Forest, was awarded an OBE John Everitt, chief executive of the National Forest, was awarded an OBE (Image: Supplied)

He said: “I am delighted to accept it on behalf of my talented colleagues at the National Forest Company and the amazing and dedicated people I have worked with over the years, some of whom are sadly no longer with us."