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Royal Scottish Forestry Society

President's Page


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Publications and Communications

Apart from the warm glow that comes naturally with membership of the oldest forestry society in these islands, the only universal benefit which every member of the Society enjoys is the Journal. Scottish Forestry is a hugely important, readable and well respected publication, and will continue so to be.

There has to be an however after that opening paragraph and there is. A small group has been reviewing the way in which the Society organises itself. It made various recommendations to the Board for changes which will re-invigorate the Society and help ensure its vitality into the future. One of the changes which the Board has approved relates to publications. I truly hope that, once these changes have bedded in, you will see them as improvements.

Scottish Forestry will move to two issues per year. This will remain the vehicle for the Society to publish scientific papers and longer articles, and I personally hope that it will at the same time leave room for the more light hearted and slightly esoteric. There is no shortage of material coming forward for the Journal and there is no reason why the total number of articles published during the year should diminish.

To complement the Journal the Society will develop and publish an electronic newsletter on a regular basis. This will carry news items, short notes, correspondence, obituaries etc; together with abstracts from and links to the longer articles in Scottish Forestry. At the same time the Society will aim to increase its profile across the media. In particular it will develop enhanced visibility across social media. As part of increasing the Society’s profile, the website will be reviewed and redesigned if necessary.

Jenny Johnson has indicated her intention to step down as editor of Scottish Forestry, after a very successful tenure, at the end of this year. We owe her a huge thank you for her professional hard work and dedication to the Journal. Accordingly the Society will be recruiting a new editor in the near future and seeking to appoint a communications specialist to develop the e-newsletter and general external and internal communications and manage social media. Please let me or our Director know if you or anyone you know might be interested in undertaking this.

I am very aware that not every member of the Society uses email. To address this we will do two things. Firstly, we will ask again and continue to ask that members who do use email let us know their up to date email address. Secondly, anyone who wishes to do so, can request hard copy of any electronic mailings to be sent to them. This is a period of change, there will be glitches and I know not everybody will be happy with the changes, but please bear with us and as always should you have any useful suggestions please get in touch with Alastair Harding, George Moore or myself.


Pat Hunter Blair



8 October 2015


Second President's Newsletter


A time of growth and change... with members still our lifeblood 


The Society is flourishing. We had an exceptionally good annual excursion in May and look forward to seeing as many members as can make it to next year’s outing, which will be based in Moffat. 


Our programme of field visits continues to offer something for everyone, from those working in the sector who want to learn more about a particular aspect of silviculture, to those with a love of trees who want an informed visit to a spectacular location. I am delighted that, thanks to a very generous donation from member Sir Henry Angest, we have been able to increase the number of editions of Scottish Forestry published per year back up to three. 


To deliver these services takes a fair amount of effort, both from our Council and Board members contributing in a voluntary capacity, and from our paid contractors. There have been a number of changes in the support arrangements and I thought it useful just to detail these for you. 


Alastair Harding has stepped aside as Director after five years. His steady hand at the helm will be missed. He will continue to be involved with the Society, providing management of our website. The Board took the decision to amalgamate the roles of Director and Administrator to improve the delivery of the Society’s objectives. 


As of 1 September, George Moore has assumed the role of Executive Director. On your behalf I offer grateful thanks to Alastair and good wishes to George. 


Turning to the journal, Scottish Forestry, Jenny Johnson stepped down as Editor of Scottish Forestry this year and her role was taken over on a temporary basis by Gavin Strachan. I am now delighted to say that

Carol Crawford is taking over as Editor from the winter edition. Carol has come to the end of her other career as a consultant ecologist and forester and is now studying for a degree in contemporary art practice in Glasgow. Simon Blackett continues to chair the Publications Committee, having taken over that mantle from Bill Mason. Thank you to them all. 


You can contact George as Executive Director on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Carol as Editor on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 


Please continue to support the Society by attending events – I guarantee you will find it an enjoyable experience. I am going to repeat the cliché that members are the lifeblood of the Society. So please help reinforce its sustainability by recruiting new members. To that end we have introduced a new Family Rate subscription. At £75, just £20 more than the standard rate, it allows several in a family to be RSFS members, attend events, and get our e-updates (but only one journal will be sent per household).

If you’re stuck for the perfect gift for birthdays, weddings, engagements or even christenings, what could be better than membership of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society in one form or another?


With best wishes,

Pat Hunter Blair



27 Oct 2016