IT was a beloved cartoon series about a bear with a penchant for 'pic-a-nic baskets'. And it turns out that Yogi Bear was the unlikely inspiration for one senior forestry figure's career. 

As a child, Scottish Woodlands director Andrew Tuft watched the antics of the mischievous bear and his companion Boo Boo. The pair were forever up to no good in the fictional Jellystone Park, much to the displeasure of Park Ranger Smith.

Forestry Journal: Scottish Woodlands director Andrew TuftScottish Woodlands director Andrew Tuft (Image: Scottish Woodlands)

“It was Ranger Smith who attracted me to forestry.” said Andrew, in the organisation's latest Meet The Team video. “I wanted to be a park ranger and that developed into work experience in a forest not too far from me, Castlewellan [in County Down], and that started my interest in forestry.”

Andrew spent several years working for the Forest Service of Northern Ireland before joining Scottish Woodlands as assistant harvesting manager in 2004. He joined the board as harvesting and marketing director in October 2020 – his career highlight so far.

Andrew’s interview stresses the crucial role that timber must play in meeting net-zero targets as one of “3 Ps” that he loves about his job – people, places, and product.

His favourite tree is the rowan. 

“It’s the name of my son, and it’s a hardy and resilient species. I’m always amazed where you can see it growing in high elevations, including the well-known rowan tree on a rock at Rannoch Moor on the way up to Glencoe. It’s a great testament to its character.”

You can watch the full video on Scottish Woodlands' website