The Royal Scottish Forestry Society

...for those who love the forests, woodlands and trees of Scotland

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President's message - Autumn 2018

Dear members and friends

This summer the Society held 16 really excellent field days. I was able to attend 9 of these and regret it wasn’t more.  I know they have all been first class in terms of learning and sharing knowledge of forestry practice in the best of company.  As usual we have had highly privileged access to some wonderful places, many  of which we would never have visited otherwise.  These days owe everything to the generosity of our hosts, the detailed preparation of their forest managers  and  thorough planning by our regional committees. My thanks to them all.

Among these was a soils training day provided for us by Jens Haufe of Forest Research and held at the Forestry Commission at Ae.  I think this was  a first for the Society.  The day was judged a great success by the 24 who attended. We hope to repeat this round the regions in future.

We had another outstanding whole society 3 day excursion, based in Inverness and brilliantly master-minded by Rod Pimm. Fergus Ewing accepted Rod's invitation to address us on the first morning . Concluding with warm words for the work of the Society, this set us off in fine fettle which maintained throughout. Rod had negotiated reasonable rates at the Culloden House Hotel which made this a thoroughly enjoyable excursion.

In September 8 members joined a study tour in Bavaria with the Royal Forestry Society. This was brilliantly organised for us by John Paterson of Egger Forestry. A report will be in our journal, Scottish Forestry, later this year.

I have been very pleased that more people are coming on these field days including many more younger members whose positive contributions are invaluable. We are grateful for the support of our Corporate Sponsors in encouraging their staff to attend as part of their professional development. This seems to be a win-win for the sponsor and the society.

We have had stands at 4 shows, at Scone, Moy, Drumlanrig and Peebles. These are good opportunities for us to meet members and recruit new ones. The “plant to plank” competition where people have to match the young tree (kindly supplied by Alba trees) to the sawn plank. from Syd House’s collection, has proved a draw and a talking point for show visitors. A half-day stint on the stand is enjoyable and I would invite members to join in next summer. The dates will be in the green card with your Christmas Journal.

George Moore organised another successful clay pigeon shoot at Forrest Estate. Entries from Tilhill, Scottish Woodlands, Forestry Commission Scotland, Stewartry Tree Services and 3 RSFS teams. A great day was had by all who took part. Tilhill won the team prize for 5th year running but only one point ahead of FCS!

The autumn edition of Scottish Forestry featured a reflective image on the cover, “Letter from Home” by Peter Bowsher, picking up the historical theme of many articles in this edition. The WW1 Centenary is commemorated with articles on the impact of the war on forestry and a photo-essay showcasing wood sculptures from Rozelle Park Remembrance Woodland in Ayrshire. Thanks to the work of our editor, Carol Crawford and the contributors, Scottish Forestry once again shows the many ways the RSFS promotes best practice in forest husbandry, forest education and woodland conservation.

As I write, regional committees are completing plans for next year. These will include a number of events to mark the Forestry Commission centenary. Central to these will be the opening of the Centenary Path at Cashel on 16 May, the fourth and final day of the Annual Study Tour (as it will be known in future). Please put 13-16 May in your 2019 diary. More details shortly.

The Society is busier than I have ever known it and new members, individual and corporate are joining. My appeal to all members is " Please find another". I make no apology for repeating this exhortation. New members are vital for our future.

James Hepburne Scott

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