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The Strategic Advisory Board of Forestry and Land Scotland provide the Chief Executive with internal and external advice, guidance, challenge and scrutiny to support organisational transparency and effectiveness of key business activities enabling and delivering our Corporate and Strategic Outcomes. 

Our collective experience and expertise is complemented with support from four non-executive advisors, appointed for their specialist skills and knowledge. 

We are excited about the opportunities for Scotland, our agency and the role we can play alongside our Scottish Government colleagues in tackling the climate emergency, encouraging economic growth and supporting healthy and flourishing communities.

We are

Simon Hodgson, Chief Executive

Simon Hodgson (Chairperson) - Chief Executive

As Chief Executive, Simon is committed to ensuring the forestry sector meets the highest standards in the interests of all its employees and contractors. Simon joined the Forestry Commission in 2005 as Chief Executive of Forest Enterprise England managing all its forests and commercial activities. Between 2011 and 2013 he was also Chief Executive of Forestry Commission England.

Graeme Hutton, Director of Business Services

Graeme Hutton - Director of Net Zero

Graeme is accountable for a number of key service areas including Human Resources, Digital Services, Finance and Procurement, Learning and Development, Fleet and Buildings, Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Records and Data Protection. Graeme, a qualified accountant, has previously worked for the Scottish Government Rural Economy Directorate, the Scottish Prison Service Agency and the National Health Service. He enjoys sports, runs to keep fit and likes spending time with his family and two dogs.

John Mair, Director of Estate Development

John Mair - Director of Commercial Development

John manages Commercial Development, set up to manage, expand and seek out best value opportunities on Forestry and Land Scotland's landholdings through Land Agency, Agriculture, Land Transactions, Renewables projects, external Partnerships including Communities and Carbon Projects, Procurement and Land Development. Prior to Forestry and Land Scotland, John has worked in property finance, commercial property investment and development across the UK.

Graeme Prest, North Regional Manager

Graeme Prest - Director of Land Management and Regions

Graeme has over 30 years’ experience of leading and managing operational delivery in both Scotland and England, including most recently Scotland’s forests and land in our North Region. Our Land Management and Regions Directorate is responsible for national land management services including Planning and Environment; Technical Services; Marketing and Sales; Visitor Attraction; and accountable for operational delivery across our five regions.

This includes protecting and maintaining the forests, working with others on award winning projects and initiatives on natural regeneration and peatland restoration, and co-ordinating all aspects of forest management to contribute to Government objectives. His particular interest and passion is nature conservation and connecting people with the natural environment.

Michael Hymers, Director of Corporate Services

Michael Hymers - Director of Corporate Services

Michael has over 20 years’ experience leading and managing corporate and operation forestry delivery services, including the establishment of our capability as a standalone agency of Scottish Government. Our Corporate Services Directorate is responsible for Finance; People Team and Organisational Development; Corporate and Business Planning; Portfolio/ Project Management Office; Change Management; Communications, Brand and Media; Corporate Governance and Assurance; and managing FLS’s relationship with others. As a second-generation forester he has previously held a number of forest management and leadership roles, including managing a Direct Production Harvesting fleet and as a Forest District Manager.

Mark Pountain Web

Mark Pountain - Non Executive Advisor

Mark’s career spans service with the army, private, public and third sectors and includes international experience, business and management consulting. He has recent experience as a non-executive for Forestry Commission England.

Clea Warner

Clea Warner - Non Executive Advisor

Clea brings more than two decades of transformational leadership experience, working alongside local communities to deliver sustainable benefits to both charitable assets in her care and the local area. She led the strategic development of an extensive property portfolio for English Heritage, consisting of twenty-two historic properties. As the National Trust for Scotland’s Regional Director for the Highlands and Islands region she is responsible for a varied portfolio of 26 sites that includes eleven island properties, including the UK’s only dual UNESCO World Heritage Site St Kilda.

Jo OHara

Jo O’Hara - Non Executive Advisor

Jo brings a wealth of private, public and third sector experience, including her previous role as Chief Executive of Forestry Commission Scotland and Scotland’s Chief Forester, as well as being vice-chair of influential environmental charity Changeworks.  Through her consultancy and leadership roles her remit and knowledge extends across land use, environmental, social and economic aspects across the UK and more widely in Europe. She remains integrated in the forestry sector as a Council Member and Trustee of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF).

Therese ODonnell

Therese O’Donnell - Non Executive Advisor

Therese brings varied public and private sector experience and has served on numerous Boards and Committees. This has included international experience, business and management consulting on mergers and acquisitions, organisational transformation and change, and Corporate Affairs.


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