Forestry news relevant to WH members
Geraint Richards grew up in the Chiltern Hills, very near to the Forestry Commission’s District Office. His love for woodlands and forests was inspired, surrounded as he was, by the famous Chiltern Beechwoods. In 1988 he went to study at university in Bangor, North Wales and after four years (which included a year-out with the Forestry Commission in Thetford) he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Forestry. He immediately went to work in Kent and East Sussex for the Forestry Commission, but in 1995 applied for the job of Head Forester with the Duchy of Cornwall. (The interviews happened to take place whilst he was on honeymoon in Cornwall – which his wife will not let him forget!) In 1996 he started work with the Duchy and now has overall responsibility for the management of the Duchy’s woodlands, which extend from the Isles of Scilly to Herefordshire, and amount to some 4,500 acres (1,825 hectares). Early on, and before everyone else, he took the Duchy’s woods into FSC certification and adopted a continuous cover/close-to-nature approach to management. He has been involved with all sorts of organisations and initiatives to do with trees, woodlands and forests and more especially, issues close to His Royal Highness’ heart – such as high-quality silviculture, utilising and ‘adding-value’ to home-grown timber, and education/training. All of which is fully in line with the aims and objectives of Woodland Heritage.
“We are indeed fortunate to be able to call upon his expertise and experience, which has been most evident in his involvement with our ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ Courses, along with our other dedicated Tutors. Geraint is a valuable addition to our committed team and we are delighted to welcome him as a Trustee. Coming from a Welsh mother, Cornish father and supporting the Welsh boys in red in rugby, Geraint would not forgive me if I did not mention his Celtic loyalties too, which are reflected in the names of his five children.”
Peter Goodwin, Chairman of Trustees