Leading Welsh forestry figure awarded MBE

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17 JUNE 2010NEWS RELEASE No: 13696

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Roger Cooper, one of the leading figures in forestry in Wales, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Mr Cooper, who lives in Benllech on Anglesey, was presented with the honour for services to forestry spanning more than four decades.

An internationally-recognised expert in forest products marketing and forest certification, Mr Cooper still plays an active role on many forestry committes despite being in his 71st year.

He has chaired the Woodland Strategy Advisory Panel for Wales, which advises the Welsh Assembly Government's Rural Affairs Minister on forestry policy development, since 2007.

Mr Cooper also sits on Forestry Commission Wales's National Committee, which is responsible for working with the Assembly Government to develop forestry policy which meets the needs of the people of Wales.

Trefor Owen, Director of Forestry Commission Wales, said, "I am delighted that Roger's valuable contribution to forestry in Wales has been recognised in this way.

"He is highly respected as an expert in his own right and commands the respect of everyone involved in forestry in Wales."

Mr Cooper began his career in forestry in 1967 as an economist with the New Zealand Forest Service and joined Bangor University (then the University College of North Wales) in 1972 as an industrial liaison officer.

He worked as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering before finally becoming Head of the School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, a post he held since 1997 until his retirement from full-time academia in 2004.

In 2005 he co-ordinated the formation of the Wales Forest Business Partnership, a private sector forestry and timber industry-led initiative which promotes co-operation between people and organisations and  focuses on the wider interest of the forestry and timber sector.

As well as his involvement in Welsh forestry, he chairs the Interpretation Panel of UKWAS (the UK Woodland Assurance Standard), and is the UK member of the FPS (Forests, their Products and Services) domain committee of COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), which coordinates nationally-funded forestry research at a European level. 

Mr Cooper still teaches University students and carries out research, and when he is not immersed in forestry issues finds time to be a member of the Monteverdi Singers choir which gives concerts in north Wales.


About 14% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to the private sector and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.

Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on