New Land Management Director for FLS
Forestry and Land Scotland welcomes a new Director of Land Management next month (May 3).
Graeme Prest, who has over 30 years of wide-ranging experience within the Forestry Commission and its successor bodies, brings a wealth of expertise to the role.
Having graduated from Aberdeen University with an honours degree in Forestry, Graeme started his career with the Forestry Commission in the Highlands in 1990 working in both forest management and timber harvesting and marketing roles before moving to be Forest District Manager for the Lake District and subsequently Forest Management Director leading a 100-strong team in North West England.
As well as leading on the sustainable management and improvement of the estate to deliver on multiple objectives, he was also involved in several partnership projects in the North West of England. This included the transformation of landfills and spoil tips, overseeing the creation of 1500 ha (15 sites) of new community woodlands in Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and major projects to re-develop and expand two Lake District visitor centres, elevating them to top-five destinations in the area.
In 2012 Graeme then made the jump to Forest Enterprise Scotland, now Forestry and Land Scotland, where he has worked in a District and Regional Manager capacity.
During his tenure he has continued to transform and improve ways of working – both within the organisation and with partners – helping to promote and establish a more collective and collaborative approach across a range of disciplines and across a range of teams both at local and national level.
He has also been part of the development of the most technically challenging timber harvesting in Britain (FLS’ Steep Ground Felling Programme along the A82) and was one of the founders of the internationally recognised Cairngorms Connect partnership – the biggest habitat restoration project in Britain. The Partnership secured almost £4 million of funding from the Endangered Landscapes Programme which is funded by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – one of only eight projects in Europe to benefit.
On his move up to his new role, Graeme said;
“One of the key things I have learned over the years is that good relationships and a strong network of stakeholders are vital if we are to do our work effectively.
“I have enjoyed working with a fantastic group of people as Regional Manager and I am looking forward to now getting around the other four FLS Regions, our customers and other key stakeholders.
“I will be taking up the reigns from Trefor Owen, who will soon be enjoying a well-earned retirement, and look forward to building on the strong foundations that his excellent work has established - both in terms of our core, sustainable land management and our leading role in Scotland’s response to the Climate and Biodiversity crisis.
“I'm looking forward to developing new partnerships and new approaches to making Scotland’s forests and land more resilient and further developing FLS’ reputation as the leading land management organisation in the country."
Notes to editors
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.