Royal Scottish Forestry Society

Wise old owl

The Royal Scottish Forestry Society was founded in 1854 and is charged with the education of foresters.  The Society is a registered charity in Scotland, registration number SC002058 and is constituted as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

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Simon MacGillivray

Simon has had a varied career working in a range of diverse occupations ranging from the banking sector to working with the NHS land holdings in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, in the past thirty years he has been employed within the environmental and forestry sectors, holding a number of senior executive and board positions within environmental organizations working across the UK.  

He is also a Chartered Forester running his own consultancy business managing a number of forestry properties across Scotland for a wide range of UK and overseas clients.  Aside from the world of forestry and trees he enjoys the wider countryside and a great love of gardening.  Simon joined the RSFS in 1988.

Wilma Harper
Vice President

Wilma is a Chartered Forester and Chartered Environmentalist.  An experienced director, having held senior positions across the Forestry Commission, she now has a portfolio of board positions in the forestry and biodiversity sectors.  She joined the board of the RSFS as Communications Director in 2017.  She is also a trustee for Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards and a former President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.  She is a Director of TWIC, the local record centre for South East and Central Scotland, and the National Biodiversity Network.

Alongside her broad forestry and environmental background, she brings considerable experience of corporate governance, strategy and change management. She has a particular focus on areas which support people, helping them to improve their understanding and appreciation of their environment.  

When sitting at a computer gets too much, she escapes by trail running in her local woods.

Tom Mitchell

Tom's background is as a Chartered Accountant, working in international offices of major accounting firms and in financial services. For the past decade, he has managed a firm of Chartered Accountants that specialises in working with charities improving governance, finance, risk and people matters.

Tom sit's on the ICAS charities technical panel and acts as a trustee for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which owns Edinburgh Zoo, as well as for the Donkey Sanctuary. When not working, he loves to read, garden and delve into modern history.

Colin Kennedy
South West Region

Colin has worked for Scottish Woodlands Ltd for 39 years since graduating from Edinburgh University. After spending six years based in Inverness-predominantly working on forest management, timber harvesting and marketing - he transferred to Castle Douglas in 1987 to assist in large scale new planting projects. Colin became Operations Director for South Scotland in 2002 with responsibility for six offices.

Colin is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, becoming a member in 1984 and promoted to Fellowship in 2002. He is still the regional chairperson for ConFor in South Scotland.

Byron Braithewaite
Lothian & Borders Region

Byron is a Chartered Forester working for Tilhill as an Area Manager in the South of Scotland. He started his career in the public sector working for Forestry Commission Scotland as a mid year student followed by a brief stint in the forest nursery sector. He progressed on to work with Tilhill as a Forest Manager following graduation from Bangor University. His experience lies in managing commercial plantation forests, but he also enjoys his work with native broadleaf woodland and mixed continuous cover stands.

Byron enjoys mountain biking and photography in his spare time, both activities are driven by his enjoyment of the outdoors and the natural environment.

Gareth Whymant
Northern Region

Gareth trained for Forestry on the Duke of Buccleuch’s Boughton and Drumlanrig Estates. After two years as assistant Forester at Boughton, he moved to Scotland to the Blackwood Estate in Dumfriesshire. He was Head Forester on Ardverikie Estate near Newtonmore which was the setting for “Monarch of the Glen”. After 5 years he moved to the Darnaway Estate owned by Lord Moray, where he completed 21 years, retiring in 2012.

This is Gareth's second tenure as Chairman of the Northern Region, also serving for several years as local Secretary of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. At present he is a Trustee of Forres Community Woodland Trust. He joined RSFS in 1975.

Steve Brown
North East Region

Steve trained as a physical education teacher before moving to work in the financial sector in the city of London. After working there for six rewarding years he decided to return to Scotland with his new wife to complete a degree in forestry at Aberdeen University. He then joined the Forestry Commission and left for Knapdale Forest, Kintyre in September 1979, focusing mainly on harvesting. He transferred to Achaglachgach forest which had the largest planting programme in Scotland at the time. From there to Culloden to specialise in site surveys, then Newton nursery, then harvesting in the pine woods of Moray district. His final move, this time with four children in tow was to Huntly to take up a Woodland Officer post.

He is a director of Deveron Projects an arts body based in Huntly and runs a group of young musicians called the Strathspey fiddlers. He is chair of NE region RSFS, a role which helps him retain his interest in all things forestry.

Support team
Annual accounts
Future plans
Key documents
Become a member link
Monitor woods link
Cashel Forest Trust link

The Royal Scottish Forestry Society was instituted in 1854. We are a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered in Scotland, charity registration number SC002058.

Our registered office is Unit 1, Pentland Industrial Estate, Loanhead, Edinburgh, EH20 9QH.  All correspondence should be sent to RSFS, 2 Walker Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7LA.

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