Reforesting Scotland is a membership organisation encouraging free and open debate on a wide range of forest and land issues.
Over the years we have produced a range of projects, publications and policy statements, but what we do, individually and collectively, also goes beyond formal projects, and covers a wide range of themes, some of which are illustrated in the ‘What we do‘ section. Our activities are inspired by the Reforesting Scotland vision.
The annual Reforesting Scotland Gathering provides the opportunity for members to meet and share ideas and experiences in an informal and sociable atmosphere. Members also have various online forums through which to communicate throughout the year.
Through its international networking, Reforesting Scotland links with people-focused projects throughout the world, particularly among the temperate and boreal forest zones.
As a grassroots charity we are looking for new members who can help us take up the challenges that face Scotland’s native forests and woodland culture in the future. Whatever your interest, be it as a tree grower, a craft worker, a designer of buildings, or simply as a supporter of Reforesting Scotland’s aims, join Reforesting Scotland and help practical work towards the regeneration of Scotland’s land and communities.
Reforesting Scotland is its members, and one of the most important things it does is to give them opportunities to communicate and collaborate with each other.
Meeting other members
The best opportunity to meet RS members is at the Annual Gathering. From time to time we also have local days where members take a tour of interesting projects in their local area. Any member can offer to run a local day – contact the office for advice and support on how to do this.
The Radical Rowan newsletter
The Radical Rowan is a newsletter by and for RS members, keeping each other up to date with RS projects and RS-related projects we’re involved with. Email if you have material to offer for the next issue or if you can help with collating, editing or layout.
A say in our running
The AGM – held each year during the Annual Gathering – gives Reforesting Scotland members an annual opportunity to review how the organisation is running and what it is doing. It is at the AGM that the charity’s directors are appointed for the coming year. If you are an RS member and would like to serve as a director, get in touch before the Annual Gathering.
Other ways of being involved
Depending on your time, energy, talents and inclination, there are many ways to help Reforesting Scotland! You could arrange for the RS display – or the Forest Garden display – to be on show at a local venue or event. You could simply distribute a few RS leaflets, or help to distribute the Journal. If you’re a public speaker, there’s a Reforesting Scotland powerpoint slideshow which you could use to tell people about RS.
Everything Reforesting Scotland is and does happens because its members make it happen. If you think something is missing from current activities, maybe you’re just the right person to add it to the mix.
Reforesting Scotland (RS) is all of its members, but work done and decisions made are often down to a much smaller group of people, the directors, staff and core volunteers.
Benedict Bate (treasurer)
Benedict is an accountant and has worked in manufacturing and retail as well as the University sector where he was a lecturer and until recently the Leader of the Accounting and Finance Group at Edinburgh Napier University. He has been a keen outdoor activities person since the early 1970s and it was during his travels that he realised what a ‘wet desert’ much of Scotland had become due to extensive overgrazing by sheep and deer. As an orienteer he has experienced a wide variety of Scottish forest terrain and is particularly fond of the pine woods in the Glen Affric area.
A long standing member of RS, he is also a member of the Woodland Trust and gives talks about their work in Scotland and has planted trees in Knoydart, Fife, the Borders and the Lothians. He is always keen to persuade others that planting trees in Scotland is an investment with many future benefits, such as biodiversity, recreation, forest products, water quality and flood management.
Amanda describes herself as ‘thriving on work’, which is just as well given her CV. She started as a
biology teacher but quickly moved out of teaching and into building dry stone walls and gaining a Masters in
forest ecology. She has had a varied forestry-related career, from auditing wood fuel quality assurance
schemes and checking nursery bio-security to researching markets and management systems for small
woods. She has also been a director of the Community Woodlands Association.
Alan Carter (Chair)
Alan has been a member of RS for many years. He is a self-employed forester, and also has hands-on expertise in community parks and forest gardening. He was voted onto the board during the 2011 Gathering, which he had organised, and became Chair after the 2013 Gathering.
A former professional weather forecaster, Matt’s interests have always revolved around the natural world. Moving up to Perthshire in 2007, he quickly developed a deep affinity for Scotland’s wild places and the Caledonian forest in particular. Alongside working as a fitness instructor, Matt spends his time writing about climate change and the importance of ecological restoration, both in Scotland and elsewhere. He was delighted to join ‘Reforesting Scotland’ as a director in early 2019 and looks forward to working towards its restorative vision of healthy communities living in a well-forested land.
Liz, a member of RS for about a decade, is a social anthropologist and a community mental health nurse based in Edinburgh with a lifelong interest in the therapeutic aspects of the natural environment, appropriate technology and woodcraft skills. An enthusiastic treeplanter, she is steward of a fragment of Celtic Rainforest in Argyll and keeps a small non-commercial nursery of local tree stock. Liz loves to get her hands dirty and is happiest working directly with people or plants, or bringing them together.
Nicky works for Borders Forest Trust, helping landowners to establish and look after woodlands in one of the least forested parts of Scotland. Although she has spent much of her life exploring Scotland’s wild places, it is only more recently, through time spent volunteering with conservation charities and working as a ranger in the Highlands, that she started to understand the critical state our land is in and became inspired to do something about it.
Nicky is a lecturer at Scotland’s Rural College in Aberdeen where she teaches countryside management. She was a farm conservation manager for fifteen years, encouraging farmers to create and manage woodlands and other habitats. She has studied forestry and rural development projects in Eastern Europe and is involved in a project in Romania to maintain hay meadows. She has worked as an ecological surveyor, including surveying the Common Lands of England and Wales. Nicky has been a member of Reforesting Scotland since the early days.
J Finn Weddle
Finn was co-opted onto the board in early 2020, having been offered the opportunity of further involvement with RS after attending his first Annual Gathering. He spends most of his time fathering his two young children and is deeply passionate about connecting into place, which he facilitates by sharing knowledge about foraging and nature stewardship through his small business Feral In Fife. Having previously been the national co-ordinator for Permaculture Scotland’s network of demonstration sites, he hopes to bring unique flavours of permaculture design and agroecology to the RS Board.
Staff and consultants
Much of Reforesting Scotland’s activities are carried out by the directors and other volunteers, but there are also a few part-time staff and freelancers working on specific aspects.
Mandy Meikle edits the Reforesting Scotland Journal –
Donald McPhillimy is a founder member and past director of RS. He has carried out various pieces of contract work for us, such as the coppice survey, hutting report and Land Revival study tour.