Why Alwyn would be an effective mentor

  • Alwyn is a forestry manager who advises landowners on woodland management for the sustainable management of their estates. He helps them to prepare management plans as part of the overall economic management of the farm to deliver cash flow forecasts and advises on where they can access support for funding.
  • Alwyn started his career as a forestry worker and spent two years with a timber felling gang. He also undertook training in the full range of forestry skills, including timber felling and planting, giving him an understanding of the practical aspects involved in the physical side of managing woodlands.
  • Alwyn believes strongly in encouraging individuals to develop their skills set and achieve formal qualifications.  He has personally mentored and supported YTS students and others to gain NVQs, working with training providers to ensure that the course content offered was formulated or adapted to meet the demands and capabilities of the trainees.
  • During his career, Alwyn has worked with a range of clients delivering rural management projects, supported by broad environmental advice. In these positions, Alwyn managed annual rural maintenance budgets and reported on cash flows, using cost benefit analysis techniques. This form of analytical approach to deciding which projects should go ahead is a useful tool in mentoring as it encourages critical appraisal, which he has used to support farmers in making business grant applications. 
  • He has continued to develop his professional knowledge, acquiring the status of a chartered forester and by studying for a post graduate degree in Environmental Management.
  • As the Head Forester for the MOD in Wales, Alwyn was responsible for a team of directly employed labourers, professional staff and students, supporting their personal and professional development.Since leaving the MOD in 2010, Alwyn has worked as a self-employed forestry consultant.  He has prepared Glastir Woodland applications on behalf of private landowners and has been responsible for the co-ordination of overall forest activities, in accordance with HSE policy, including the gathering of information about hazards on and around the forestry worksite.
  • As a Glastir Forestry Contracts Manager, Alwyn encouraged potential applicants into the scheme by explaining the technical issues involved with woodland management while supporting the development of their knowledge of woodland management.
  • Alwyn has also undertaken Grown in Britain auditing training to look at diversification opportunities that can be achieved from woodland management by adding value from biomass and carbon trading though the Carbon Code. His willingness to look at new initiatives supports his ability to provide advice to customers.
  • Alwyn has a working knowledge of spoken and written Welsh.

Current forestry business

  • 28 hectares of Farm Woodland clearfelling and replanting with native broadleaves
  • Eight hectares of timber harvesting for non waste biomass under the Renewable Heat Incentive
  • 15 hectares New Woodland Creation – Glastir Management Planner for seven sites

Qualifications/ achievements/ experience

  • Forest Worker 1978-1980
  • OND Forestry 1983
  • Forestry Commission Forester 1983–1991
  • Ministry of Defence Forester 1991–2010
  • Chartered Forester 1998
  • MSc Integrated Environmental Management 2001
  • Self Employed Forestry Consultant 2010 – Present (including an 18 month contract with Welsh Government as a Glastir Forestry Contracts Manager
  • Grown in Britain Auditor Training 2014


Top tips for business success

“Try to look at your woodland management business from the outside, at what it’s trying to deliver to the market place and where it sits in the overall integrated farm business. Then be willing to change the way that these services are delivered, so that the business stays sustainable and pays for itself.”

“You can usually think of ways of making small changes in the way that you run your business, which can include developing new skills that could lead to to big improvements over time.”