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Moray forester honoured by prestigious industry award

By Jonny Clark

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A MORAY man who has played a key role in improving the area’s woodland has been honoured with a top forestry award.

David Hay, who has lived with his family in Fochabers for nearly 40 years, has been awarded a prestigious Fellowship from the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

David Hay in his natural habit - out and about in the forest environment.
David Hay in his natural habit - out and about in the forest environment.

The award is given to those in forestry as an acknowledgement of an individual’s dedication, experience, achievements and contribution to the profession.

David has worked in Scottish Forestry’s Grampian Conservancy since 2010 and has played a key role in increasing Moray’s woodland cover to 34 per cent, which is much higher than the national 19 per cent average.

In his current role, David’s experience and advice is used with managing complex woodland creation proposals, handling forestry grant applications and local woodland development plans.

David Hay has worked in Scottish Forestry’s Grampian Conservancy since 2010.
David Hay has worked in Scottish Forestry’s Grampian Conservancy since 2010.

He works with an “exceptional” team offering support and advice to the forestry industry to boost woodland creation levels.

“I’m genuinely thrilled and very honoured to become a Fellow of the ICF, simply for contributing to a profession and industry that I am so passionate about,” David said.

“It’s such a privilege to have had this career which has built on the significant legacy of the foresters that have gone before me, as well as those I currently work with to create truly integrated and diverse landscapes.

“This Fellowship is something I am very proud of and to be recognised by my peers in this way is truly special.”

David’s career first started in the private sector in Dunoon in 1982 and then in various harvesting, planning and operational forestry work in the then Forestry Commission and Forest Enterprise.

In his career he has supported a number of Scottish woodland schemes, notably a 600 hectare native woodland at Knockando, which gave multiple environmental and social benefits.

Steven Hutcheon, Scottish Forestry’s Grampian Conservator said: “David’s Fellowship is fantastic, and we are all thrilled for him in this recognition.

“His experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for helping others progress in forestry is invaluable. We are all delighted for him.”

Part of David’s passion is to help others learn and much of his time is spent mentoring and training both the local Grampian team in forestry, as well as people from other organisations.

In addition, David oversees the Forestry Development and seedcorn funds in the Grampian region which encourage activities, especially involving young people in woodland environments, as well as representing the Conservancy on the local authority access forums.

He is very active within the local community too and is a STEM ambassador delivering multi-discipline science-based sessions within schools or youth groups.

Another passion of David’s is rugby, and he has been Moray Rugby Club’s junior coach for the last 15 years and he coaches cricket through the Active Schools programme.

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