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New Forester for West Devon

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Russell Collins

The Forestry Commission has welcomed a new Area Forester to manage its West Devon beat, which includes Cookworthy Forest in Halwill, Abbeyford Woods near Okehampton and Lydford Forest near Launceston.  Russell Collins has taken the role after moving from the Forestry Commission’s Edinburgh office where he worked as a Policy Advisor for the last three years.

After studying forestry at Newton Rigg, Russell began his career with the Forestry Commission in 1992 joining the East Anglia district in a forest management role.  Since then, Russell has held different roles with the commission including Plant Health Regional Manager for North England and North Wales.  He also spent time working as a Woodland Officer in North West England working with and advising private landowners on forest management issues and grant opportunities.  Most recently he has been working in the Forestry Commission head office in Edinburgh as a Policy Advisor managing the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme, the Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme and the Regional Biomass Advice Network.

Russell says:

“I am delighted to be getting back out in to the forest and am really looking forward to managing the beautiful forests in West Devon. During my time with the Forestry Commission I have worked in various roles, which has given me a wealth of experience of forestry as a whole.  Whilst I enjoyed my time working in Edinburgh a great deal, I decided that I wanted to get back out from behind a desk and back in to the forest, where my passion truly lies.  I am looking forward to getting to know the area well and working with the team in West Devon to continue to ensure that our forests in West Devon are great places to spend time in.”


For further information please contact Kirstie Smith, Communications Manager, Forestry Commission on 01392 834249.