23 MAY 2012NEWS RELEASE No: 15474
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Forestry Commission Scotland’s new Inverness, Ross & Skye District Manager has come far in his career – about 6 miles!
Balloch educated local lad, Graeme Prest, (keen birdwatcher, hill walker and a shareholder in Inverness Caledonian Thistle!) returned north of the border in April for the latest stint of his 20 year FCS career.
He spent much of his early career in the north of Scotland (including Inverness) but latterly spent 15 years as a District Manager in North West England.
Graeme (who even has a dog called Affric!) said:
“I’ve always loved this area and I was over the moon to get the job of District Manager for the area. I started out here 20 years ago and was involved with the Caledonian pinewood restoration at Glenmore and also the early work on the Great Glen cycle route so this is really a sort of homecoming.
“It’s a real privilege to be responsible for such iconic forests as Glen Affric and Glenmore as well as forests on Skye, the Black Isle and down Loch Ness – and also to be at the head of such a multi-talented team who are very committed and passionate about what they do.
“I’m looking forward to renewing some old acquaintances and making many new ones as we continue to build on our partnerships and work closely with local communities, key organisations and local businesses.”
During his time in the Lake District, Graeme set up the partnership with RSPB and the Lake District National Park Authority that put up artificial nests in the area that enticed ospreys to return to and successfully nest in the area in 2001 – the first time in 150 years. They’ve nested successfully every year since and expect their millionth visitor this year.
Graeme was involved in the major re-development of Forest Park visitor centres at Grizedale and Whinlatter both in the top 5 tourist attractions in the Lakes and also oversaw the creation of 25 new community woodlands on derelict land in Manchester and Merseyside.
Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate.