Southern England Team

Welcome to the Southern England 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, Devon, Alton, Hampshire and Groombridge, Kent.

This Team is supplemented by home based managers located across Southern England and supported by offices in Southampton.

Some of our team will be familiar to our long standing clients, with Julian Ohlsen at the helm with 19 years as District Manager and Stephen Taylor our most experienced forest manager having recorded 35 years with the Company.

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

District Manager

Julian started his career some 38 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 forestry and contracting business across the south of England as a District Manager for Tilhill for the past 19 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!

Graham Preece MSc Forestry

Senior Forest Manager

A graduate from Bangor and Durham Universities, Graham spent time working around the world before joining Tilhill Forestry in 2008.

As a Senior Forester Graham takes a leading role in improving the timber asset value of his customers’ woodlands by applying his working knowledge of silviculture with a keen appreciation of the timber market to ensure the best return on an owners’ 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 62 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.

Stuart Ogilvie MICFor

Senior Forest 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 creation of management plans, attracting grant aid and implementing agreed programmes of work ranging from harvesting to establishment.

Tilhill Forestry’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.

Previous experience includes field staff operations, technician in the forestry and arboriculture sector and managing a number of substantial projects in the land based sector. Stuart has a Masters in Business Administration and is a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.


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 as it provided a good opportunity to expand her knowledge base.

Jenny was recently 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. She enjoys delivering work programmes, creating woodland management plans and carrying out contracting work to Estates and other clients.

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, where between 2005 and 2012 he implemented a wide range of contracts throughout the South West 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 over a number of years throughout the South of England.

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, 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.

Stephen Taylor

Senior Forest Manager

Stephen has worked in the forest industry since 1972 and joined Tilhill in 1980. He has extensive experience in lowland woodland silviculture, from sowing tree seed in the nursery to sawmilling.

His in-depth silvicultural knowledge across Surrey and Hampshire is unsurpassed as he has overseen many
woodlands for their owners and successive owners over the past 37 years.

Stephen manages a wide mixed portfolio of lowland woodlands primarily for amenity, timber production and
conservation. Always keen for a new challenge, last year he was planting an instant woodland for screening purposes with 3m and 4m tall trees that then needed irrigation systems and large scale protective fencing. He is looking forward to starting the thinning in a few years’ time!

Colin Corkhill FdSc LWM

Forest Manager

Colin has worked in the industry for over 10 years, initially studying Lowland Woodland Management at Sparsholt Agricultural College, Hampshire, where he was awarded Best Overall Performance by The Royal Forestry Society.

After a post college period with Tilhill in the South West of England, Colin spent time with Blenheim Estates and then the John Lewis Partnership in Hampshire before re-joining Tilhill in 2014.

Colin is based at both Alton and Groombridge giving him management responsibilities across the New Forest, Hampshire, Sussex, and Surrey

He has a keen interest in tree surveys, arboriculture and Acute Oak Decline (AOD) disease and its causes.

Kasten Harris BA (Hon) 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.

Alex MacKinnon BSC (Hons)

Forest 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 as a forest manager and is now enjoying working with the southern England team, whilst maintaining a special focus on business development.

John Allen BSc (Hons) Tech.Cert (Arbor A)

Senior Operations 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

Hugh Davies BSc, MSc, MICFor

Forest Manager

Hugh is our newest recruit in Southern England having joined Tilhill in May 2017. 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 in working in a hardwood sawmill and as a Forest Ranger in the Midlands, providing a varied mix of forestry knowledge.

As a Forest Manager Hugh specialises in forestry management, arboricultural, landscaping and ecological services in South East England.

  • 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

Lee Ingram

Harvesting Contracts Manager

Lee is a considerably experienced Harvesting Contracts Manager having worked in the forestry and game
keeping industry for over 36 years.

He has been part of Tilhill Forestry for the past 5 years, where he has drawn on his knowledge to advise our
clients and customers on how to get the best possible returns from the timber within their woodlands.

Lee is highly regarded for his consistently safe working practices and his due diligence towards his customers.

Brian Hawtin CMLI BA(Hons) MCIHort

Chartered Landscape Architect

Brian Hawtin CMLI BA(Hons) MCIHort

Brian joined Tilhill in 2018 and is a Chartered Landscape Architect whose extensive experience covers landscape design, project management, landscape maintenance and construction across the landscape spectrum.

Previously Brian has designed and constructed a huge range of landscape schemes, lectured on the Garden Design and Landscape Architecture Degree Pathways at Hadlow College and has project managed gardens on the ITV garden series 'Love Your Garden'.

He has achieved a number of awards working as an integral part of the team at various organisations, including RHS Gold Medals and Best in Category awards, BALI National Landscape Awards and an APL Supreme Award.

As Landscape Contracts Manager he will manage Tilhill's expanding portfolio of landscape projects.



Rob Coltman BSc (Hons)

Assistant Forest Manager (Graduate)

Rob Coltman BSc (Hons)

Rob attended Plumpton College and the National School of Forestry to graduate with a BSc (Hons) in forestry in 2018. He has 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 work amongst trees and a strong team. He is keen to put in to practice the knowledge and skills developed during his studies, and build them further with Tilhill in to 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?’ presented by Forestry Minister David Rutley MP at a Westminster reception organised by Confor for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry.

Andrew Baker

Assistant Forest Manager

Andy started working for Tilhill Forestry in 2015 and was initially based in South Wales. Since then he was moved to the Alverton Office in Nottinghamshire and has now joined the South East Team as Assistant Forest Manager.

He completed his Degree in Ecology from the University of Edinburgh in 2013.