After a successful first year, the Young Professionals Conference is back with a new name! In the light of the skills crisis and building on the Institute’s 2022 National Conference, Climate Smart Forestry, and the Early Career Professional Study Tour ‘Our Legacy’, this year’s ECPC theme is ‘Essential Skills for the Future’. The one-day programme will begin with presentations on conflict resolution, fire and woodland creation, closing with a panel discussion on career pathways through the industry.
It is an exciting time to be starting a career in forestry and arboriculture. The ECPC is your chance to get inspired, get informed and get involved, celebrating fantastic tree professionals across the UK and learning from those with a wealth of experience. The conference has been put together by a group of early career professionals and is aimed at those starting out in forestry, although everyone is welcome and will be sure to find topics of interest.
Join us virtually on Tuesday 29 November to explore ideas on what our sector needs to do now to prepare for the future.
Tony Kirkham MBE VMH FICFor (Hon) – Former Head of Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Tony began his 40-year career as a forestry apprentice with Tilhill. After spending time working in Hamburg learning tree management within urban and park environments, he moved to Kew to study their renowned Diploma in Horticulture, spending the following 14 years managing part of Kew’s arboretum. Formerly Head of Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services, he managed more than 14,000 trees amongst many other responsibilities. In recognition of his invaluable contribution to horticulture, he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2020. He was also awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Institute in 2022.
Dean Bell – University of the West of England
Dean is currently a postgraduate researcher in the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments at the University of the West of England (UWE). His PhD is investigating the impact of engineered tree pit solutions on street tree growth and establishment. Dean is an arboriculturist by profession, starting his career as a climbing arborist, before moving into consultancy and most recently academia. Prior to joining UWE, he was a lecturer and programme manager at Plumpton College. He is currently an associate lecturer in urban greening at UWE. Dean is a professional member of the Arboricultural Association and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Sandy started on a Further Education course at the Scottish School of Forestry in Inverness before moving onto a HND in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry and finally graduating with an Honours degree in Forest Management. During his time at university, he worked with several conservation organisations before taking up a part-time Assistant Woodland Officer position with Scottish Forestry in North Scotland and subsequently moved to a full-time role based in Perth. Seeking to further expand my silvicultural knowledge and skills, he moved to Forestry and Land Scotland in August 2021 working as a Forest Planner in the Central Region, covering the Scottish Lowlands.
Jocelyn is the Arboricultural Assisstant for South Lanakrshire Council and has spoken about trees and integrated land use both locally and internationally. Her current role is to manage SLC’s 2.8 million trees across thousands of sites and promote health and safety in arboricultural practices. She is a graduate of the University of the Highlands and Island’s Scottish School of Forestry with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management. Jocelyn’s history of tree surgery and outdoor activity management give her perspective on how trees deliver a multitude of ecosystem services and benefits for all.
Sarah is currently an MSc Forestry student (part-time distance learning) at Bangor University having recently decided to change career. She has a BA in Geography and an MA in Medical Anthropology, and previous careers have included teaching English as a foreign language in Japan for seven years and managing university research projects and finances for 13 years. In keeping with having a redheaded son and a ginger cat, her favourite trees are redwoods.
After two years of studying forestry at Bangor University James took a placement year with National Resources Wales. During which time he worked primarily with the Forest operations and land management teams in the Brecon Beacons. Returning from his placement James is now in his final year of study at Bangor and is hoping to graduate next year.