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2015 judges

The RFS would like to thank all the judges in the Excellence in Forestry Awards 2015 for their hard work. They were:

Categories: Duke of Cornwall (Multipurpose), Silviculture, Small Woodlands and Community Woodlands Awards

John Good – John graduated in Botany and Biogeochemistry in 1964 and obtained his PhD from the University of Wales in 1967 for studies on the hormonal control of growth processes in higher plants, including trees. He has been a lecturer in Plant Sciences at Oxford Brookes University and was a founder member of staff of the newly formed NERC Institute for Forestry and Environmental Research at Edinburgh University, which later became incorporated into the newly formed NERC Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE). He continued his studies on hormonal control of growth in trees but expanded his interests into tree selection for restoration of  derelict land. He transferred to ITE (latterly the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Bangor Research Unit in 1975, where he remained (as Director from 1988) until his retirement in 2000. He is currently chairman of the North Wales Division of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group for Wales.

Philippe Morgan - graduated from Aberdeen University in 1979 and after graduating surveyed the tropical rainforests of Brunei, worked for Tilhill Forestry in the Scottish Borders and was then the Shotton Paper Company Area Forest Manager in Wales. He is a Fellow of the ICF and President of Pro Silva and Vice-president of the Association Futaie Irrégulière (AFI). He spent his career in South East Asia, Britain and Europe. He is a Director of Sustainable Forest Management Limited and of SelectFor Ltd, specialists in continuous cover forest (CCF) management. He is in charge of developing an international network of CCF research stands and training plots across Britain and Ireland. He now combines consultancy work in Britain and Ireland with the management of woodlands in Wales.

Category: Forestry Woodland Creation Award

Lead judge: Christine Cahalan – Christine studied biological sciences at Leicester, forestry at Berkeley (University of California) and plant population genetics at Bangor.  She worked on tree genetics and breeding at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (1976-79) and the Forestry Commission’s Alice Holt Research Station (1989-93), and has spent about 25 years at Bangor University where she now lectures in silviculture and forest management.  She has been a member of various forestry advisory committees and boards in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, including one of the working groups of the Welsh Woodland Forum, and is currently Chairman of the North Wales Division of the Royal Forestry Society.

Les Starling – Les began working for the Forestry Commission in 1962; training initially in the Forest of Dean before going to the Gwydyr Forestry Training School (1964–66). After completing his training in the Forest of Dean he worked on Field Surveys based in Coleford for several years. He then transferred to South Wales for 12 years before serving his final 18 years as a Woodland Officer in North East Wales. Les retired in 2004 after 42 years with the Forestry Commission and still lives in North Wales. He is on the council of North Wales Wildlife Trust, a director of Cofnod (the North Wales Local Record Centre), Vice Chair of the North East Wales Biodiversity Network and is a committee member of North Wales FWAG Cymru and the North Wales Division of the RFS. He has also been invited to represent the Natural Environment on the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB Partnership

Trefor Thompson – Trefor graduated in Forestry at Bangor University in 1974 and joined Clwyd County Council as Forestry Officer later that year. He became Principal Forestry Officer in 1985 and transferred to the new Denbighshire unitary authority as Principal Countryside Officer in 1996, remaining there until he retired in 2008. He was a member of the Board of the Welsh woodlands initiative – Coed Cymru – for many years and also served on the Wales Woodland Forum and its successor the Wales Woodland Strategy Advisory Panel. Trefor has been heavily involved with the development, creation and management of community woodland projects throughout his career. He lives near Ruthin in north Wales, has been the Coordinator of the Royal Forestry Society’s Excellence in Forestry Competition since its inception and is an RFS Trustee.

Category: Schools Award

Phil Tanner – RFS Education Manager, Phil is leading on a number of RFS college-centred projects, encouraging students to become involved in research and to develop links, through the RFS membership, within the forestry industry. He has reviewed the prestigious RFS Cert Arb Level 2 and is working with awarding bodies to develop further formal qualifications which meet the needs of modern forestry. While with the School of Forestry at the University of Montana, Phil researched the effects of squirrels, including American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), on forestry and woodland activities. Phil is also a former ‘conservation in action’ warden and has lectured on countryside management at UK colleges.

Sue Williams - Sue has worked in the Forest and Woodland Education sector for over 15 years, spending 10 years as the Forest Education Initiative (FEI) Co-ordinator or North Wales.Sue managed the Forestry Commission Woodlands for Learning Team for three years and for the last two years has led the Education, Learning and Sector Skills Team for Natural Resources Wales, expanding the team’s education work from woodland and forestry to the sustainable management of all of Wales’ natural resources. Sue is also the current secretary of the Real World Learning Cymru Partnership which acts as a voice for the sector helping to raise the profile of Out of Classroom Learning and highlight its many benefits.