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NEWS RELEASE No: 145274 APRIL 2011

John Morgan to lead Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service

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Dr John Morgan

Dr John Morgan has been appointed Head of the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service to lead its efforts to protect Britain’s trees and forests from pests and diseases.

Dr Morgan had previously been Head of the Commission’s Plant & Seed Supply business unit for 13 years, overseeing the production and supply of more than 300 million forestry plants from the Commission’s tree nurseries in that time.

He holds a PhD in Forestry and a BSc in Ecological Science from Edinburgh University, and has worked in a variety of research, advisory, management, policy and technical support roles during his 20-year career with the Commission. Areas of responsibility have included forest management, harvesting and marketing, conservation, recreation management, forest restocking standards, legislation and use of pesticides, Christmas tree production and wildlife management. He has also published research reports and bulletins.

Announcing his appointment, Tim Rollinson, Director-General of the Forestry Commission, said,

“I’m delighted that John Morgan has accepted this vitally important role. Pests and diseases pose an increasing threat to Britain’s trees and forests, and John brings to the post just the kind of breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and experience that we need to lead our efforts to tackle it.”

Dr Morgan said,

“It’s an honour to be asked to lead the Commission’s Plant Health Service. I’m looking forward to working with colleagues, and with partners elsewhere in government and the forestry community, towards securing a healthy, sustainable future for our trees and forests.”

Dr Morgan lists his interests as spending time with his young family and looking after his own small woodland.

  • Dr Morgan replaces Roddie Burgess, who has retired after leading the Plant Health Service for 14 years. One of the final events of Mr Burgess's career was the presentation of an honour from the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). He received a plaque and Certificate of Excellence from Jose Antonio Prado, Chair and Director of the FAO’s Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division. The awards recognised his decade of work under the FAO umbrella and his contribution to the FAO’s new Guide to implementation of phytosanitary standards in forestry, which was published just before he retired.


  1. Dr Morgan's appointment is effective from today, 4 April 2011.
  2. Further information about the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service is available at

Media contact: Charlton Clark 0131 314 6500

e-mail: charlton.clark