South West Scotland

The South West Scotland Team are based in Locharbriggs, Dumfries. Headed up by Robert Herbert, District Manager, who has over 33 years’ experience in the industry. His diverse team consists of a broad mix of individuals, each of them with a passion for forestry and the environment we work in. Together they manage approximately 40,000 ha of predominantly commercial woodland for a range of clients. Providing specialist skills such as preparation of forest plans and production forecasts, digital mapping and surveying, protection and maintenance of young trees including professional deer management as well as the establishment of restocking and new woodland creation. Each person brings a special skill set with them and, like the rest of Tilhill, have a balanced mix of older, more experienced people, as well as new graduates, fresh from taking their forestry or related qualifications.

Robert Herbert

District Manager

Robert started working in the Forest industry 33 years ago in Argyll, firstly as a planting contractor and then as a tree feller and chokerman. After studying Forest Management at Newton Rigg he spent time living and working in Ireland and Australia before joining Tilhill in Yorkshire. He spent 8 years there before moving north to the South West Scotland District, initially as a Forest manager for 6 years and subsequently as the District Manager for the past 9 years.

John Jefford BSC (Hons)For, MICFor

Senior Forest Manager

Following stints working for the National Trust, leading research projects in New Zealand, and contract forest establishment work in NE and SW Scotland, John has been involved with forest management in South Scotland since 1990. Motivated by achieving maximum sustainable productivity from land resources, he has worked for different forest management companies and focused on upland forest management. A broader range of experience has developed from establishing more than 1000ha of new forest, collaborating with landowners on farm woodlands, initiating utility arboriculture contracts and delivering landscaping works. John also co-ordinates supply of millions of Sitka spruce for Tilhill; working in partnership with nurseries to ensure best genetic stock is available for Tilhill sites.

Cat Kent BSc (Hons) Countryside Management

Assistant Manager (Graduate)

Cat has recently graduated from Harper Adams University and joined the team through the Tilhill Graduate Programme. She became interested in pursuing a career in forestry after undertaking placement years with the National Trust as a volunteer ranger at Cragside in Northumberland and as a student arborist at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, in Gloucestershire.

Hannah Richardson

Assistant Manager (Graduate)

Hannah graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science and joined Tilhill in June 2017 as a graduate Assistant Forest Manager. Throughout her degree, Hannah gained experience working in remote, challenging areas teaching environmental education by leading field trips in the moors of North Yorkshire. Hannah will be working in the field to help with the management of client forests helping her to gain further experience.

Andrew Noble MICFor

Senior Forest Manager

Andrew started his career as a tree surgeon before going back to University at Bangor, studying Forestry and Forest products. Following a short period with Tilhill in Bury St Edmunds on mostly landscaping work, Andrew moved to the Harvesting Team with the Forestry Commission in Dumfries for 5 years. Initially involved in Standing Sales, he then took on the direct production Harvesting Team, followed by another 5 years harvesting with the Northern Ireland Forest Service across counties Fermanagh and Tyrone. A period in Establishment with the Forest Service followed before a move back to Dumfries in 2011 to his current role as a Senior Forest Manager, primarily in the Eskdalemuir area.

Andrew MacQueen

Forest Manager

Andrew joined Tilhill in 2012 after gaining a Forestry degree from Aberdeen University. He manages a range of properties from large scale commercial forests for investment clients to estate work for individual owners mainly in Annandale and Eskdale. He has a particular interest in soils and alternative species and has conducted a number of training courses for forestry staff. He is a committee member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters South Scotland regional group and an active member of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society.

William Burfitt

Senior Forest Manager

William has worked in the Forest industry for 19 years in a range of roles from the practical side through to management and has a Bsc Hons in Forest Management. He joined Tilhill in 2007 as a graduate with the Midlands district before moving to South West Scotland, becoming Project Manager of the Eskdalemuir timber bypass. He then progressed to Assistant Manager, then Forest Manager and is currently Senior Forest Manager. Will’s responsibilities involve the management of commercial conifer and native forests, managing a portfolio of approximately 6000ha for various owners and clients throughout South West Scotland (Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire). He is currently an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters working towards his full membership.

Kenny Wright

Wildlife Manager

Kenny started his career in wildlife management straight out of school, beginning as a trainee gamekeeper for Buccleuch Estates, quickly becoming an underkeeper on Drumpark & Spedoch estates before joining Tilhill (then EFG) as a trainee Wildlife manager working with Ronnie Rose in Eskdalemuir. Kenny has worked across the district to gain experience in Managing Roe and Red deer and over his 36 years in the profession has gained a broad knowledge and understanding of the varied wildlife that make the commercial forest of South Scotland there home.

Amy Lucas

Assistant Wildlife Manager

Amy joined Tilhill in April 2017 following the completion of a 2-year National Diploma in Game and Countryside Management in 2009 at Newton Rigg College. Prior to joining the team in South-west Scotland, Amy worked as a Grouse beatkeeper in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. Her role as Assistant Wildlife Manager is to manage deer numbers within the forests, keeping deer damage to a minimum.

Kerstin Leslie BSc (Hons), MSc, MICFor

Forest Manager

With her background in Ecology, Kerstin was attracted by a modern forestry sector, where sustainable timber production is a major player in the Scottish economy. She joined the SWS team in 2011 after gaining a Masters in Forestry at Bangor University and is now a Forest Manager covering Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire. Kerstin is heavily involved in Tilhill’s research into alternative control methods for pine weevil, a major forest pest, and has comprehensive experience of forest certification under the UK Woodland Assurance Standard.