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Kevin Quinlan, current Director of Environment and Forestry (EnFor) with the Scottish Government, is to take up a new role as the Chief Executive of Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS).

Mr Quinlan will take up the reins in April 2024, following the retirement of current CE, Simon Hodgson.

Mr Quinlan, said;

“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS). FLS is a key agency of the Scottish Government, delivering a wide range of environmental, social benefits and economic benefits for Scotland.

"As a timber supplier and mainstay of the sector, it helps to underpin our rural economy and provides significant levels of employment that helps sustain many rural businesses and communities.  More broadly FLS: manages forests and land that help sequester 14% of Scotland gross emissions, restores one thousand hectares of peat per annum, hosts over 1,000 species and provides amenities for ten million visitors annually.

“I would like to thank Simon Hodgson for having steered the organisation through some difficult years and for helping to ensure that FLS’ acknowledged position as forestry experts and pre-eminent land managers is assured.

“I am looking forward to this move and to engaging with our stakeholders in the coming months to better understand how we can move forward together.“  

A fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and holding an MBA (Warwick University), Mr Quinlan has extensive experience of government and business, having served as Director of Environment & Forestry, Director for International Trade & Investment, as well as having worked for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department in a variety of economic development roles.

Outgoing Chief Executive, Simon Hodgson, said;

“Mr Quinlan brings with him a very strong track record in environmental policy as well as economic development, and I have no doubt that his contribution in the years to come will only serve to further strengthen and enhance FLS’ reputation in the national and international forestry sector.

“Although only five years old, FLS has navigated a path through some difficult times. We have managed to do this thanks to the support of Ministers and our many customers and stakeholders but principally thanks to our remarkable staff, who have all pulled together to play their part.

“Mr Quinlan is about to join an inspiring, committed and highly talented team.”


Notes to editors

  1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.

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  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 07785 527590 or