Woodland Ambassadors

The Woodland Ambassador programme within the Forestry Commission helps to support trees, woodlands, and forestry across England.

Role of the group

From your local farmer to industry professional, the Woodland Ambassadors are volunteers who bring a wide range of experiences to the programme. They act as advocates for woodland creation and management, sharing their knowledge with peers.

Shared objectives:

  • become part of the drive to enhance woodland cover in the United Kingdom, bringing benefits to our community, the environment, and to future generations
  • work with the Forestry Commission to improve landowners’ understanding of the benefits of trees for agriculture and the environment, through our own experiences
  • share our experiences of woodland creation and participate in events
  • recognise the benefits of knowledge exchange and want to support the local community, by sharing our experience with landowners considering woodland creation

Current Woodland Ambassadors

The Woodland Ambassadors work across England within our regional teams. Your local ambassadors work closely with us to attend events in your region, offer farm and woodland walks, and share their experiences at every opportunity.

East and East Midlands

Hugh Dorrington, Aveland Trees

Since 1980, Hugh has been involved in tree supply and woodland planting, with hands on experience of all aspects of woodland creation and management of young woodlands. Hugh’s woodland, Nursery Wood, planted in 2008, won the RFS Gold Award for best small/farm woodland in 2017.

John Everitt, Chatsworth Estate

John is a fifth generation Chartered Forester who has carried out several woodland creation schemes across the UK. Following his studies at Bangor University, John worked in South Scotland in a number of roles, before becoming a Forestry Manager for Chatsworth Estate in 2016.

Jemima Letts, Chatsworth Estate

Jemima graduated in 2019 and during her studies received the Changing Attitudes Award from Confor, for setting up a successful social enterprise, Tree Sparks. Jemima is now an Assistant Forester and has become the youngest ever chartered member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Peter Glassey, Burghley Estate

Peter was inspired to follow a career in estate forestry in the late 1980s after learning more about the impact of climate change. Peter first worked on an estate in East Yorkshire, before joining Burghley in 1992, and has been planting trees ever since, watching them grow and fill the landscape.

Chris Bawtree, Ground Control

Chris has always been passionate about trees and has delivered a number of woodland creation schemes across the country, including a 50-hectare project in north Essex. He is currently focusing on nature recovery projects and how habitat creation can be funded and effectively managed.

Fraser Bradury, Westacre Estate, Westacre Woodland Management

Fraser has over 30 years extensive experience in rural land management, with 25 years spent overseeing the Public Forest Estate for Forest Enterprise and nine in the private sector. His expertise spans woodland creation, crop improvements, harvesting, deer management, ancient trees, wood pastures, Wilding projects, agroforestry and tree safety - specialising in broadleaved forests and woodlands.

North West and West Midlands

David Bliss, Lowther Group

David is an enthusiastic tree planter, planting over 3000 acres for the Heart of England Forest, showing his commitment to conservation and the environment. As the Director of Lowther Forest Company, he spearheads annual plantings exceeding 300,000 trees, leaving a lasting green legacy.

Alexander Newport, Bradford Estates

Alexander took up full time management for Bradford Estates in 2019, continuing his family’s 900 years of stewardship. Inspired by his grandfather, the 6th Earl of Bradford, Alexander is eager to expand the woodland area from 1200 acres to potentially 1/6 of their land holding in Shropshire and Staffordshire, or 2,000 acres in the next two decades.

South East and London

Sarah Dixon, Breach Park Farm

Sarah has worked to transform intensively farmed and chemically reliant land by adopting sustainable management techniques and alternative land uses. Balancing this with her corporate career in fashion and international business, she co-owns a consumer brand licensing agency. Her passion for land management allows her to step away from the laptop and enjoy the land.

South West

Sam Whatmore, Grascott Farm

Sam planted over 85 hectares in the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1998. Today, the thriving woodland not only supports wildlife but provides income through kiln-dried firewood, timber, biomass, and more. Central to Sam’s management ethos is using woodlands to deliver long-term value to people while generating a variety of useful products.

Andy Gray, Elston Farm Partnership and FarmWilder

Andy is a farmer and environmentalist, integrating silvopasture systems and diverse woodland on his land. He is particularly interested in experimental agriculture, profitable sustainability, water quality, and biodiversity, reflecting a deep commitment to nature and farming. He champions tree planting that offers opportunities and benefits to our food production.

Merlin Hanbury-Tenison, Thousand Year Trust

Merlin, founder and Managing Director of the Thousand Year Trust, is a passionate advocate for restoring the UK’s Atlantic temperate rainforests. Raised on an upland hill farm in the middle of Bodmin Moor, Merlin is committed to preserving these vital ecosystems for carbon sequestration, ecosystem services, and human well-being.

Alex Robinson, Zulu EcoSystems and Moor Wood Farm

Alex specialises in land management and ecosystem restoration, guiding landholders to establish natural capital baselines and identify where to unlock value. Alex is a Chartered Surveyor, a co-founder of Nature Capital, and a former British Army Officer. Alex is passionate about wildlife conservation and champions regenerative agriculture on his Cotswolds farm.

Rob Moore, J H Moore & Son

Rob has been a farmer for 37 years and transitioned his family farm from dairy to organic suckler beef in 2008, alongside running four holiday lets and course fishing lakes. In 2021, he sold their stock and by 2022, Rob personally managed the planting of 18 hectares of mixed woodland.

Yorkshire and North East

Terry and Tracy Featherstone, High Meadows Farm

Terry and Tracy own High Meadows Farm. Together, they transformed their family’s northeast England farm into a green energy hub, incorporating ground source heating, a wind turbine, and numerous solar panels. In 2021, they planted a 14 hectare woodland and are committed to environmental stewardship.

Shaun Purkiss-McEndoo, Zetland Estate

Shaun is the Head Forester at North Yorkshire’s Zetland Estate, first joining the estate at age 15. He has strong connections within the forestry community, including RFS. Shaun has been the driving force behind Zetland Estate’s extensive woodland creation, resulting in over 100 hectares of new woodlands in the past two decades.

Mark Shipperlee, Living Woods CIC

Mark is a passionate woodsman who grows his own food. His love for woodlands drives him to explore, observe, and appreciate the complex structures that make up woodland. Mark dedicates a large amount of his time to the development of a woodland focussed not - for profit organisation that engages with people in creating, caring for, and connecting with woodlands. With extensive experience, he enjoys designing new wooded landscapes, from growing trees from seed to harvesting and beyond.


If you are interested in hearing more about the Woodland Ambassador programme, or would like to be involved, please contact your regional Woodland Creation Team.