John Blessington
John Blessington (Chair)

First elected 2005, re-elected 2008. From Shropshire Woodland Officer with Shropshire County Council, now Arboricultural Officer with the unitary Shropshire Council. Former Board member of the Heartwoods subsidiary company. Member of Personnel sub committee.

Gary Battell  (Vice Chair)

Gary Battell is the Woodland Advisor for Suffolk County Council. He is also resident conservation advisor at Staverton Park, and manages the National Ancient Tree Nursery.   He has worked in forestry woodland and park management for 30 years, including posts with the National trust and the Forestry Commission. Gary is a director and trustee of the Small Woods Association, The Ancient Tree Forum, the Green Light Trust and Heartwoods.

Phil Burton

From Herefordshire – Works with the Herefordshire Nature Trust and makes a vital link with the Wildlife Trusts nationally.

Board member Jerry

Jerry Langford

Living in glorious West Wales I steer the Trust’s work in Wales and manage the staff team, currently 16 people.  Our team includes people responsible for looking after all our woods in Wales, others who work with other landowners to restore ancient woods and create new native woodland, and those who are involved in engaging with the public and policy makers.

I started with the Trust more than 20 years ago as its first woodland manager in Wales.  This was in days before computers and the internet and the Woodland Trust was a small organisation that purchased woods to stop them being cleared for development or farming.     These days agreeing collaborations with other organisations is a major part of my work , as is trying to establish a more resilient  future for trees and woodland through more sustainable economic and agricultural policies. You can follow me on Twitter @jerrylangford1.

Gorge Smith

George Smith

George has been a member of the SWA since February 2003 and owns a 22 acre woodland in West Sussex.  He is a retired detective chief inspector who then spent five years, working throughout Europe, in a senior management position with a international financial institution.  He has a degree in history & politics.

Chris Duncan

Chris Duncan

Based in Bristol, but with a small woodland in the Brecon Beacons, Chris has had a varied career in engineering and manufacturing including with Rolls Royce and Hewlett Packard. More recently he started a company making school furniture and has run a high end joinery which was a member of the British Woodworking Federation and a founder member of the Wood Window Alliance.

Aly May

Aly is the co-owner of the Herefordshire based company ‘Say It With Wood’. She is a qualified and experienced forester as well as managing a team at their timber yard, producing multiple fencing and garden products. Aly also plays an active role in managing an ancient woodland near Hereford which she co-owns.

Alastair Squire

Alastair is a chartered forester working as a senior harvesting and forest manager for Flintshire Woodlands as part of Scottish Woodlands Ltd. His role includes carrying out woodland management and timber harvesting on behalf of a range of clients and woodland owners over some 10,000 acres throughout Wales and central England. Since his degree in Forestry was obtained from Bangor University in 2002 Alastair has worked with Scottish Woodlands moving from assistant forest manager to his present role. Over the period he has picked up a wealth of experience across the full range of forest management.

Bev Tyley


Phil Tidey