Bell Ingram appoints Phil Dean as head of Forestry

Phil Dean

There has never been a more exciting time to embark on a career in Forestry, according to one of the country’s leading experts.

And it’s essential that the sector continues to develop the next generation of talent by continuing to offer high quality work placements.

That’s the message from Phil Dean who has just been appointed to head up Bell Ingram’s Perth-based Forestry division.

The company, which is one of the UK’s leading land management specialists, currently has a Forestry student on a year-long work placement as part of its partnership with the Scottish School of Forestry at Inverness College UHI.

Phil Dean said: “Encouragingly, the sector is on an upward trajectory and young people embarking on a career in Forestry are doing so at a very exciting time as the conditions for growth and success in the industry are excellent.

“Students who are learning Forestry skills are in extremely high demand and Bell Ingram is committed to nurturing the next generation of foresters. We hope that our current placement student will in turn play his part in encouraging the next crop of students.”

Phil’s own route into Forestry was somewhat unorthodox. After studying Economics at University he enjoyed a successful career in IT before the ‘dot.com’ bubble burst and he retrained at the National School of Forestry at Newton Rigg in Penrith.

After graduating he spent five years working for Euroforest, initially as a Harvesting Contract Manager, before being promoted to the role of Area Manager for Tayside and Central Scotland. Latterly, Phil has spent almost a decade managing Corrour Estate, where he started as Estate Manager before taking on the role of Chief Executive.

He continued: “Forestry is a fascinating profession and I would encourage young people to give it a try. There are lots of opportunities to get good quality work experience which does two things – gives you a better feel for different roles within the sector and, ultimately, makes you more employable.”

Phil takes over from Richard Till as Partner in charge of Forestry Management next month. Richard is retiring after four decades in the Forestry sector, 30 of them at Bell Ingram.

He added: “I am joining Bell Ingram at an exceptionally exciting time. Under Richard’s leadership our Forestry department has just enjoyed a record year and I’m hoping to build on this success to grow this important part of Bell Ingram’s portfolio of services for the years ahead.”

The Forestry department at Bell Ingram has a dedicated team of seven, split between Forestry and Mapping specialisms, with further forestry expertise spread across Bell Ingram’s 11 UK offices.

Phil Dean concluded: “Conditions for growth in the sector have never been better. Currently we are seeing lots of encouragement at government level to plant woodland for environmental and carbon reasons. Investors are responding to this encouragement and we are advising clients how to maximise the potential benefits of woodlands and achieve the best possible outcome. Bell Ingram’s up-to-the-minute knowledge of timber markets, forestry grants and legislation ensures that our clients get the most appropriate advice and never miss out on important opportunities.

”Elsewhere Brexit is difficult to get away from at the moment and while nobody can predict what’s going to happen I think it presents an opportunity. From an investment perspective Forestry has always been seen as a relatively safe risk. Brexit, if anything, strengthens that argument for clients looking to invest in a low risk way. I would encourage those considering their options to seek professional advice to help navigate the post-Brexit investment landscape.”

Published on 18th March 2019