THE finalists for the 2024 Professional Forester of the Year award have been announced. 

TreeStory's Gordon Brown, DSHwood's Iwan Lloyd-Williams, Treeconomics' Kenton Rogers, or Dr Eleanor Tew, of Forestry England, will hope to be crowned as just the second winner of the Institute of Chartered Foresters' (ICF) prize for outstanding service to the profession and the sector.

Won in its inaugural year by Network Rail's Jonathan Callis, the award recognises the contributions made by Chartered Arboriculturists or Chartered Foresters to the betterment of forestry on a community, regional, national or international level.

Louise Simpson, executive director of the ICF, said: “Congratulations to all four of the shortlisted candidates for this year’s award. 

"We received many nominations for Professional Forester of the Year 2024 from across the sector, and our judging panel certainly had their work cut out for them in finalising this shortlist! Professional arboriculturists and foresters face increasing scrutiny in the performance of their roles, and it is important that we highlight, and celebrate, their ongoing achievements.”

The award will be handed out at the Confor Dinner & Awards in Edinburgh, with the industry body also this week announcing the finalists for its own categories. These are as follows: 

The Tom A Bruce-Jones Memorial Award for the Future Leader in the Forest Industry

  • Sam Bristow, Senior Forest Manager, Tilhill
  • Rosanna Curtis, Senior Consultant, Reheat
  • David Meldrum, Owner and Director, Apex Forestry
  • Megan Parker, Senior Forest Planner, Scottish Woodlands

The Changing Attitudes Award

  • Jillian Kennedy, Forest Manager, Scottish Woodlands 
  • Emyr Parker, Forest Manager, Tilhill
  • Timber Talks (Tilhill)
  • Tomorrow's Forests 

The Science & Technology Award

  • Future Trees Trust
  • Daniel Iddon, Company Director, SAF Woodland Management
  • Elspeth Macdonald, Senior Scientist (Tree & Wood Properties), Forest Research

The Net Zero Award

  • Nicola Abbatt, Environment, Sustainability & Assurance Manager, Tilhill
  • Emma Kerr, Head of Carbon, Scottish Woodlands
  • Rainbow Professional
  • TimberLINK (Associated British Ports)

Stuart Goodall, Confor chief executive, said: “The last year has seen some great successes and notable achievements for the forestry and wood-using sector. This is reflected in the calibre of nominations we have seen for the 2024 Confor Awards.

“With the challenges facing the industry and goals set for planting, timber production and carbon offset, it is more important than ever to have representatives like those listed here to champion our work and potential.

“I look forward to seeing many of you at the event next month for the chance to celebrate and look positively ahead to the opportunities of the coming landscape.”