Q & A with Timber Buying Director Harry Stevens

Harry Stevens, Tilhill Forestry’s Timber Buying Director gives us an insight into his history and current job role:

Q. What is your job role at Tilhill Forestry?

A. My role includes the buying of logs for the BSW Group Sawmills in the UK, which includes both standing, roadside and delivered purchases as well as all the associated third party activities of selling products to customers including UPM Caledonian Paper. I am part of a team which is all about people and making sure our teams are functioning effectively.

Q. How did you get into forestry and harvesting?

A. I have been in Forestry since I was 19 years old, that’s nearly 31 years! 

My career started with the Forestry Commission in the New Forest, after which I went to Newton Rigg College with a middle year placement with Buccleuch Estates as a Trainee forester.  Thereafter I went on to work for Tilhill Forestry at Llandovery followed by seven years with Euroforest as a harvesting manager.  Then to Egger for four years. Since 2005 I have worked for the BSW Group. I became a Director about three years ago when BSW acquired Tilhill Forestry from UPM.

Q. What makes Tilhill Forestry a market leader

A. We are genuinely market leaders in terms of good practice, good value and innovation, with a focus on returning value to growers and clients whilst making sure our customers both internal and external receive what they want, when they want. As supply managers to the company’s sawmills, we have opportunities to measure, understand and manage cost throughout the supply chain.

“We are unique.  As a group, we are involved in the full cycle of forestry, from the planting of trees on bare land right through to selling a customer the resultant end product of sawn timber. The whole process involves a cradle to grave service to clients and growers.”

Tilhill Forestry are at the forefront of the sector. Through our graduate scheme, Tilhill recruits the best and invests in our staff to create strong teams of professional individuals who are focused on best outcomes for clients and customers.

I am privileged to be part of a team which, through the integration of the BSW log buying function and the Tilhill harvesting team is by far the largest, most effective and experienced team within the sector.  From purchasing to selling, innovative harvesting, and a logistics team encompassing specialist expertise around shipping and road haulage we consider ourselves to be market leaders in all areas.