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2016 EIF Awards judges

The RFS would like to thank all the judges in the Excellence in Forestry Awards 2016 for their hard work. They were:

Categories: Award for Excellence in Silviculture, the Duke of Cornwall's Award for Resilient Woods and the Small and Farm Woodlands Award

Dr Owen Davies -  Owen studied forestry at Bangor, where he also completed a PhD as part of a growth modelling project and subsequently worked delivering silvicultural training courses in Wales. Since leaving Bangor in 2008 he has held harvesting, planning and tree health posts with Forestry Commission Wales and worked as a silviculturist at Forest Research, publishing a study of the costs and revenues of transformation to continuous cover forestry. In 2013 he took up a post with the Forest Stewardship Council and has represented FSC UK in the process to revise the UK Woodland Assurance Standard. He is also the Wales coordinator for the Continuous Cover Forestry Group.

Graham Heath -  Graham graduated from the Forestry Department of Bangor University in 1975 and began work as a Chartered Forester with English Woodlands Ltd in southern England before moving to Flintshire Woodlands in Clwyd, North Wales, as area manager in 1977 and from there to Economic Forestry Wales based in Bala, Gwynedd. Following the merger with Tillhill Forestry he became District Manager for South Wales. In 2003, Graham became an independent consultant and specialised in management planning for the "Better Woodlands for Wales" scheme. He also undertook auditing work for Tilhill`s UKWAS certification scheme; was on the Forestry Commission`s advisory panel for the Development of the "Better Woodlands for Wales" scheme and served on the Institute of Chartered Foresters council.

Category: Urban and Community Forestry Award

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 Vice Chair 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 and was the Coordinator of the Royal Forestry Society’s Excellence in Forestry Competition for seven years.

Category: Education and Learning Award

Chris Starr OBE - Chris studied forestry at Bangor University and went on to qualify as a Chartered Forester, subsequently completing an MA in Environmental Philosophy at Lancaster University. He taught at the National School of Forestry, now part of the University of Cumbria, for over 20 years and served as Head of School and more recently as Director for International Development in the Faculty of Science. He currently works as an independent forestry consultant working throughout the UK and overseas and is the author of Woodland Management: A Practical Guide aimed at owners new to the sector.

Chris is an active member of a number of national and regional committees and charities involved in forest and woodland management; is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, chaired the Forest Regulation Task Force for Defra in 2011 and was awarded OBE for ‘Services to British Forestry and Forestry Education’ in the 2013 New Year’s Honours.

Ted Wilson - Ted is the RFS Education Manager and  leads the educational programmes at RFS. He trained as a forester in Scotland and Canada, and has extensive experience as a forest manager, researcher, university lecturer and forestry consultant. Ted has contributed to or led a wide range of research and technical projects, especially in the area of silviculture, and is passionate about all aspects of forestry education. He is a professional member of the Royal Society of Biology and in 2014 was appointed to an adjunct professorship at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, Canada.