Investment – Will the forest be a good investment?

Meet Peter Chappell, one of Tilhill Forestry’s Forestry Investment Advisors.

What do you do? Tell us about your typical day? 

I’m a Forestry Investment Advisor at Tilhill Forestry.  This means I spend my time providing an advisory service to our clients to help them make the right decisions regarding their forest properties, especially from an investment point of view – which sometimes gives you a different answer compared to the ‘forestry’ point of view! 

The biggest decision that most clients face is regarding possible new forest acquisitions; should I buy this new forest? Is it right for me? How much should I pay? Will the forest be a good investment?

My typical day is spent trying to answer those questions.  Normally that means working in the office analysing data and writing reports.  However, there is also a lot of consultation required with clients and visits to properties to conduct surveys.

How did you get into Investment Property? 

I first worked on forestry as ‘property’ in 2012 during a year abroad in Finland.  When I came back, I realised I wanted to be involved in the part of the property advisory side of the business in Tilhill Forestry so, when an opportunity presented itself,  I jumped at the chance and joined the Investment & Property team in 2013.

What do you like most about working in the forest industry?

It’s a small industry and everyone knows everyone, which I think makes it a friendly place. 

Why did you decide to work for Tilhill Forestry? 

I joined Tilhill Forestry back in 2007.  At the time I was a public sector worker feeling somewhat disillusioned.  Tilhill has always appeared to me as a progressive forestry company and over the years I think I can say that Tilhill is a company where there are opportunities for motivated foresters. Hard work and good results do translate into advancement.    

What do you like most about Tilhill Forestry? 

Although it’s a big company in the world of forestry, it’s a small company in the wider scheme of things and, generally speaking, the people do look out for one another.

How do you feel Tilhill Forestry contributes to its employees’ professional development? 

Tilhill Forestry as far as I have known it has always been supportive of employees who want to improve their professional skills.  I’m just completing an MSc at the moment and the company have supported me with that, which has been very valuable to me professionally.

What sorts of changes are occurring in your occupation? 

Forestry is always becoming more valuable, this means as investment professionals we need to be always upping our game in terms of the complexity of the techniques we use to ensure that they are appropriate for the value of what we advise on.  Also, there are lots of exciting things happening with carbon and payments for ecosystem services, which is providing great opportunities for forestry investment professionals.

How does a person progress in your field? 

Professionalism, quality of service and the insight to recognise opportunities for your clients.  Those things bring repeat business.

What is your advice to anyone wishing to pursue Investment & Property within forestry as a career?

Apart from the obvious of applying for the next I&P job opportunity, I would say if you are a forester, try and always consider ‘what is the investment answer to this decision’?, as well as the ‘forestry’ answer.  It can change your way of thinking about things!