AN agricultural engineer has been appointed as the new chair of the Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA). 

Andy Newbold, who is also a farmer and magazine editor, took on the important sector role recently, filling a vacancy created when Simon Hodgson stepped down in April last year

Described as being "passionate about safe, professional forestry", Andy is an already-established FISA figure, having been involved with the organisation for an extended period. This has included chairing FISA's modified machinery subgroup. 

A chartered engineer, he was previously president of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers. 

A FISA statement added: "We are delighted to announce the new FISA chair is Andy Newbold.

"Andy looks forward to engaging the whole forestry industry, and in his tenure will focus on leading FISA’s development, ensuring effective delivery. As chair, Andy will be supporting the Steering Group, the subgroups, committees, and the board.

"As a past president and director of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, Andy has been involved in governance alongside the prudent stewardship of membership funds and the effective management of a small delivery team.

"In 2017, Andy, in his forestry role, was part of the team delivering the Forestry Harvesting Demo at Little Clyde involved directly with industry partners, working on safe forestry practices and machinery.

"Andy is passionate about safe, professional forestry, is the chair of the FISA modified machinery subgroup. and was part of the Working Group producing FISA 505 Traction Assist."

Forestry Journal: Andy Newbold replaces Simon Hodgson in the key role Andy Newbold replaces Simon Hodgson in the key role (Image: X/social media)

His appointment brings to an end a protracted recruitment process, which saw one candidate initially come forward for the role in May 2023, only to not be elected. This led to FISA putting another call out for a new chair towards the end of the last year. 

One of Andy's first major tasks will be leading an external review of FISA, which is currently underway. 

A FISA statement added: "In 2024, FISA will undertake an external organisational review aimed at informing long term strategy.

"FISA, since the start in 2012, has grown and evolved, and this review will help guide the organisation in future."