Why Neil would be an effective mentor

  • Neil is a professional member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and has worked in the forestry industry for 36 years, initially as a forest worker and now as a forest manager
  • Neil has worked in both public and private sector forestry operations, including legal land liabilities, tree safety, public access, community agreements, partnership working, as well as planting, tree maintenance and timber harvesting
  • Neil’s current role in the private sector managing teams and responsibilities for a large public sector woodland estate, visitor centres and nature reserves.
  • Environmental projects include large scale peat restoration, restoration of ancient natural woodland habitat, and the management of designated sites
  • Neil’s specialism in land management and experience in mentoring and recruiting should be of benefit to people who are considering land use change for their business, or recruiting new staff to grow their business
  • As a mentor Neil has supported farmers to undertake sustainable woodland management, to both benefit farm income, good woodland management and the creation of farm woodland creation schemes.
  • Neil’s knowledge and experience of both agriculture and forestry can help businesses considering new woodland creation on farms, and new business creation and establishing business plans for new entrants in both agriculture and forestry
  • Neil is also a new entrant to the farming industry, since 2003, and a self-employed sole trader on a 20 hectare farm business

Current farm business

  • Regional land manager for Natural Resources Wales, managing 35,000 hectares of forest and National Nature Reserves estate in Mid Wales. Includes managing team of 55 staff and numerous contracts.
  • Established solar energy for employer, and facilitated wind and hydro energy developments on Welsh Government Estate working with developers.
  • 20 hectare farm, with 150 North Country Cheviot Sheep alongside breeding and training sheepdogs.

 Qualifications/ achievements/ experience

  • City and Guilds 1 in forestry Newton Rigg, Cumbria 
  • National diploma in forestry Newton Rigg, Cumbria 
  • Professional accreditation with Institute of Chartered Forester. FICFor.


“We will see a high degree of change in the farming and forestry communities over the next decade in Wales. Working in collaboration will help us all achieve the effective and efficient balance between production and the environment”

“Trees and forests can be an integral part of a farm business, and the need to understand your business objectives and how trees may fit into your business model is a first step.”

“One-size does-not-fit-all, and with the right trees in the right place, for the right reason will help us to achieve the balance between food production and the ever growing demand for timber in our everyday lives.”

“One of your greatest assets for your business will be establishing a range of contacts in your related industry, and do not be afraid to ask for advice or help. Your issues or struggles have probably been experienced by others, who have importantly learnt how to overcome those difficulties or challenges and importantly learnt how not to repeat them.”