Bangor University: learning and growing with Woodland Heritage

Two leading forestry experts return to Bangor University on Tuesday, 15th March at 7.30pm to speak to Bangor Forestry Students Association (BFSA) about their exciting and varied career paths to-date, as well as about the many links between Bangor University and the charity Woodland Heritage.

Forestry@Bangor alumni, Graham Taylor (BSc Forestry and Soil Science, 1990) and Geraint Richards (BSc Forestry, 1992) have both carved out notable careers.  Graham is director of the leading forestry consultancy Pryor and Rickett Silviculture whilst Geraint is Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall.   They are a thought-provoking double-act and will share invaluable experience and wisdom gained from their successes and mistakes.  Perhaps it’s no surprise that they are now trustees of Woodland Heritage, an exciting charity working to revive our woodland culture.  Woodland Heritage has also developed a strong reputation for helping to fund research into Acute Oak Decline at Bangor University, Forest Research and a number of other universities. 

2015 was a special year for Woodland Heritage with the appointment of its first employee, Development Director Guy Corbett-Marshall.  As the new public face of Woodland Heritage, Guy will be present to meet with students and researchers and learn more about the many links between the charity and the university.

Woodland Heritage also runs the ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ training courses each year with the student receiving The Prince of Wales Award. The 2015 recipient is a Forestry@Bangor graduate, Nicholas Hill (MSc Environmental Forestry, 2015), who will receive his award as part of the event on 15th March.

Dr James Walmsley (PhD Forestry, 2009), lecturer in forestry at Bangor University and also a Woodland Heritage trustee said, “I’m delighted this event is taking place as these two speakers always inspire and enthuse audiences.  Geraint and Graham will undoubtedly provide a fascinating insight into the management of native woodlands and explain the vital role of current and future foresters.”

This is a free event and all are welcome; any donations will be gratefully received by BFSA.  The meeting will be held in Room G23, Thoday Building, Deiniol Road Bangor Gwynedd LL57 2UW

For more information, please contact Dewi Roebuck (BFSA president) or Guy Corbett-Marshall




Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage, whose patron is His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, is a small charity with a clear vision: “To maximise the economic and environmental value of trees and promote wood as a renewable and natural resource”. It has just one employee but it has become renowned for ‘punching above its weight’, including raising considerable funds for a major programme of research into Acute Oak Decline – a disease affecting our most loved and most valuable oak tree.  This has included PhD research at Bangor University as well as at Forest Research and several other universities.  Woodland Heritage also supports Bangor University students to attend training courses, as well as international conferences through the Garthwaite Travel Bursary.


Established in 2008, the ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses have now benefited over 200 participants, forging invaluable links between tree growers, wood users and others who are able to play a crucial role in nurturing and growing our Woodland Heritage. ‘Students’ (including architects, engineers, university students, forest managers, horse loggers…) are taken through the entire forestry supply chain, from the tending of young trees to the management of high forest through to the milling of logs and finally the production of high quality wood products.  Many Forestry@Bangor students have attended this course over the past nine years and gained hugely from the rare opportunity it provides for learning about the sustainable management of broadleaf woodland from some of the most experienced foresters in the UK.  Graham Taylor and Geraint Richards have both been tutors on the courses from the very start.



Geraint Richards. Head Forester, Duchy of Cornwall

Geraint studied at Bangor University from 1988-1992, including a year out with the FC in Thetford Forest and graduated with BSc Forestry (First Class Honours). He subsequently spent four years working for the Forestry Commission in Kent and Sussex and was then delighted to be appointed as Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall in 1996.  He is now responsible for the management of the woodlands and forests across the Duchy of Cornwall’s landholding, some 5,000 acres of woodland altogether from shelterbelts on the Isles of Scilly to coniferous stands in Cornwall and high quality ancient semi-natural woodlands in Herefordshire.  He is currently involved with a wide range of U.K. and international forestry organisations and initiatives including Woodland Heritage (trustee), Future Trees Trust (co-chairman with Graham Taylor) and the UK Squirrel Accord plus on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute of Forestry.  Geraint is particularly keen to see more young people enter and enjoy the forestry profession.  Geraint lives in Cornwall and is married to Anne with five children.  He is a passionate follower of the Welsh rugby team!


Graham Taylor. Director, Pryor and Rickett Silviculture

Graham studied at Bangor University from 1986-1990 and graduated with a Joint Honours in Forestry & Soil Science (making him one of those rare foresters who understands the medium that trees grow in). During his time at Bangor, he was instrumental in lobbying for the Forestry@Bangor degrees to include an optional year-long placement, which have remained ever since as a vital component of these degree programmes.  Graham spent his year with the Forestry Commission. After graduating, he initially worked for Fountain Forestry in Hay-on-Wye.  He then joined Pryor & Rickett Silviculture (PRS) in 1993 as Assistant Forest Manager, becoming director in 1998 and have helping steer growth from a base of 2,500 hectares to about 20,000 ha of privately owned forestry which PRS manage / advise  on behalf of some 350 private clients.  Graham is a Trustee of Woodland Heritage, Co-Chairman of Future Trees Trust (with Geraint Richards). He is also on the management committee of European Squirrel Initiative (ESI) who are working on improving the extent and efficacy of grey squirrel control measures.  Graham is regularly invited to speak at regional and national conferences and events.  As well as the above he aims to spend time with family, keep fit (running / cycling) and is also involved in church work, running a youth group and other responsibilities. Three words sum Graham up in a nutshell: ‘Family, Faith & Forestry’.

Publication date: 4 March 2016