A LONG-SERVING forester and the director of a well-known arboretum were among the forestry figures to be recognised in the New Year Honours. 

Alasdair Hendry has been a key figure in Scottish Forestry's South Scotland Conservancy for a number of years, and was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to forestry and to climate change mitigation. 

Now a senior operations manager, he has overseen all of the stages of woodland creation during his varied career. 


He said: “I was very surprised and very pleased when I was contacted in early December to ask if I would be willing to accept an MBE for my services to forestry and climate change mitigation.

“I see the award more as a recognition of the work the team in South Scotland Conservancy has done in promoting and delivering sustainable woodland. 

“I’ve been round long enough to have signed at least one felling approval on part of a woodland that I was involved in at the original planting stage so perhaps the work of the team and my longevity is part of the reason my name was put forward. 

“Thank you for those involved with the nomination process.”

Also honoured with an MBE was John Grimshaw, the director of Yorkshire Arboretum. Having led the site since 2012, his passion and dedication for tree health saw him recognised for services to tree health and plant conservation.

Forestry Journal: John Grimshaw, the director of Yorkshire ArboretumJohn Grimshaw, the director of Yorkshire Arboretum (Image: Supplied)

During his time at the arboretum, he has pushed forward a series of developments, including the country’s first dedicated Tree Health Centre, which opened in 2021.

“It came as a great surprise to me," he said. “I really thought the letter was going to be a ticket or something unpleasant, and couldn’t believe my eyes when I read it. It’s really a recognition for what everyone at the arboretum has been doing to raise awareness about tree health and the need to conserve the diversity of trees we have in this country.

Forestry Journal: John has overseen the arboretum for more than a decade John has overseen the arboretum for more than a decade (Image: Supplied)

“We’re going to have to embrace that diversity if we want to see a vibrant treescape in future that can deliver ecosystem services and capture carbon effectively while coping with the challenges of an increasing roster of pathogens and the uncertainties of climate change.

"The Yorkshire Arboretum is well placed to lead with this knowledge.”