Southern England Team

Welcome to the Southern England Forestry & Landscaping Team

In order to provide a local service to our clients the Southern England Team work from a network of offices across southern England based at Uffculme in Devon, Alton in Hampshire and Groombridge in Kent. The team is supplemented by home based managers located across southern England. Some of our team will be familiar to our long standing clients, with Julian Ohlsen at the helm with nineteen years as District Manager. Many of the others have joined us more recently, bringing with them fresh ideas, IT expertise and a new look to traditional problems in the forestry world. Overall, we have a strong professional team able to offer our clients all aspects of woodland services, timber harvesting and marketing, landscaping and environmental services.

Julian Ohlsen NDF MICFor

Regional Manager

Julian started his career some forty two years ago working on the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire. His wide experience and knowledge base has been gained in diverse locations such as Caithness, Yorkshire, New Zealand and Canada.

He has been responsible for the forestrylandscaping and contracting business across the south of England as Regional Manager for Tilhill for the past twenty years. Julian also represents private management companies at the national customer forum with the Forestry Commission, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Outside of Tilhill, Julian is a woodland owner himself with a small broadleaved wood in Devon that keeps him and his family supplied with firewood!

John Allen BSc (Hons), Tech Cert (Arbor A), MICFor

Area Manager

John joined Tilhill in 2016 having worked for the Forestry Commission as Operations Manager at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest since 2013. Prior to this John was the director of a well-known and respected company within the forest industry. John brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Tilhill having spent the last 13 years in the industry. As a senior manager he provides and oversees forest management, arboricultural, landscaping and ecological services for south east England.

John’s experience covers:

Forestry management and silviculture

Harvesting operations and control

  • Arboretum management
  • Ecological mitigation works
  • Arboriculture
  • Forestry recreation management
  • Landscaping and site clearance
  • Highways and utility vegetation management
  • Project management
  • Fencing

James Langdon BSc (Hons)

Senior Contracts Manager

James is one of our home based managers. He first joined Tilhill in 2003 working as an Assistant Forest Manager before becoming a Contracts Manager. Between 2005 and 2012 he delivered a wide range of contracts throughout south west England including the A30 Bodmin to Indian Queens Bypass. A highly motivated and results driven Contracts Manager, James has a proven track record of delivering successful high value, high profile and complex projects within the commercial landscaping and forestry industry.

James is a BALI award winning manager with Payers Park, Folkestone, a £1.4million complex Design & Build landscaping scheme completed for the Folkestone Triennial Arts Festival. He has also worked on the successful Alexandra Road Park HLF restoration scheme, a £1.3million project. It was the first of its type to be awarded to a residential community. In 2012 James helped implement the Adelaide Road Schools contract in Camden, the success of which led to his involvement with a number of other projects for the London Borough of Camden. After four years away from Tilhill, James returned in 2016 with a role to develop and grow our landscaping business across the south of England.

Phil Ridley

Landscaping Contracts Manager

Paul Clarke

Senior Estimator

Paul is very familiar with Tilhill having originally worked for the Company nine years ago as a Landscaping Contracts Manager and Supervisor. In the interim he has developed his career as an estimator, tendering for, and securing, a wide variety of soft and hard landscape schemes. 

He built on his estimating skills in his role as a groundwork estimator working on projects with drainage down to 10 metres deep. He also worked on all aspects of external hard landscaping, foundations, reinforcement and concrete slabs. 

Stuart Ogilvie MICFor

Area Manager

Stuart manages a diverse portfolio of woodlands, ranging from commercial forestry investments on the moors of Cornwall, to mixed woodlands in the fertile valleys of Devon. He provides bespoke specialist advice to woodland owners, including the creation of management plans, attracting grant aid, and implementing agreed programmes of work ranging from harvesting to establishment. Tilhill’s services include providing woodland owners a route to certification under the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS). Stuart is part of an experienced auditing team who help woodland owners enter and maintain compliance to UKWAS. Stuart's previous experience includes field staff operations, working as a technician in the forestry and arboriculture sector and managing a number of substantial projects in the land based sector. Stuart has a masters degree in business administration and is a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.


Graham Preece MSc Forestry

Senior Forest Manager

A graduate from Bangor and Durham Universities, Graham spent time working around the world before joining Tilhill in 2008. As a Senior Forest Manager Graham takes a leading role in improving the timber asset value of his customers’ woodlands by combining his working knowledge of silviculture with a keen appreciation of the timber market, to ensure the best return on an owner's investment. His particular professional interests range from CCF systems, PAWS restoration, woodland creation, design and establishment, to research and ecological surveys. Most recently, Graham has been responsible for the hugely successful sixty two hectares of a new woodland planting scheme in Dorset. This wood has seen 101,000 trees planted, making a real change to the local wildlife habitat, future timber resource and the local community.

Alex MacKinnon BSc (Hons)

Business Development Manager

Alex joined Tilhill in 2015 on the graduate development programme and initially worked in Scotland with the Investment and Property team on acquisitions of new properties for our clients. He has now moved back to the area he grew up in, originally as a Forest manager, and has now progressed to take on the role of New Business Manager.

Alex’s other roles include managing properties for existing clients while also being a technical champion for woodland carbon and researching the use of alternatives to plastic tree tubes.


Hugh Davies BSc, MSc, MICFor

Forest Manager

Hugh joined Tilhill in May 2017 bringing with him a varied mix of forestry knowledge. He previously worked for Forest Research (FR), gaining extensive knowledge on tree pests and diseases. Before this, Hugh worked for two private sector forestry management companies as a forest manager and forestry consultant. Hugh also has extensive experience working in a hardwood sawmill and as a forest ranger in the Midlands. As a forest manager Hugh specialises in forestry management, arboriculture, landscaping and ecological services.

  • Hugh’s experience covers:
  • Contractor management
  • Management planning
  • Professional tree inspections
  • Grant applications
  • GIS mapping
  • Client budgeting
  • Timber sales
  • Tree health
  • Woodland design and creation plans
  • Woodland mensuration and inventory

Kasten Harris BA (Hons) FdSc

Forest Manager

Kasten joined Tilhill in 2011 after studying Lowland Woodland Management at Sparsholt. He covers North Hampshire, Wiltshire and the Chilterns. His special interest lies in sustainable woodland management, for which there is a growing necessity in the UK. Kasten is one of the company’s advisors on the subject of resilience and the use of newer commercial tree species to widen the pool of crops against current and future pests, diseases and climate change.

Andrew Baker BSc (Hons) Ecology

Forest Manager & Carbon Store Project Manager

Working as a Carbon Project Manager at CarbonStore, Andy received his BSc (Hons) in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Edinburgh in 2013. He is a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) and a Technical Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Andrew represents the ICF on the Woodland Carbon Code Advisory Board, and is also a member of the Expert Committee for Forest Science with the Forestry Commission

Jenny Bjars MSc Forestry

Forest Manager

Jenny completed her MSc in Forestry at the University of Helsinki. Her major studies were in Business Economics and Forest Resource Management. Her move from Finnish to UK forestry was an experience that she keenly relished because it provided a good opportunity to expand her knowledge base. Jenny was part of Tilhill's renowned Graduate Development Programme before being promoted to Forest Manager in 2016. She has a keen interest and skill-set in GIS mapping and enjoys delivering work programmes, creating woodland management plans and carrying out contracting work to estates and other clients.

Rob Coltman BSc (Hons)

Assistant Forest Manager

Rob attended Plumpton College and the National School of Forestry to graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Forestry in 2018. He joined the Southern England district team at the Groombridge office as part of Tilhill's graduate development programme. Rob previously worked in education as a Forest School practitioner and is glad to be continuing to work amongst trees and within a strong team. He is keen to put into practice the knowledge and skills developed during his studies and build them further with Tilhill into the future. His hobbies include mountain biking, running, wild swimming and wandering around natural places with a plant I.D. guide. Rob received a prize for his essay on ‘How can forestry and wood processing help deliver a Green Brexit and a more sustainable society in the UK?’, which was presented by Forestry Minister David Rutley MP at a Westminster reception organised by Confor for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry.

Franziska Goeckeritz

Assistant Forest Manager

Fran graduated from SRUC in Edinburgh in Horticulture studying forestry modules within and joined Tilhill in August 2020 having applied via the Company’s graduate scheme. Franziska works on sites in the South West of England particularly across Devon and Cornwall dealing with the day-to-day management of sites and assisting the Senior Forest Manager's.