UHI Inverness graduate wins forestry award

A UHI Inverness graduate is celebrating after winning an award from leading forestry management and timber harvesting company Tilhill.

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Dr Leila Eadie

Dr Leila Eadie, a Forestry HND graduate from the Scottish School of Forestry, won the Tilhill Award for Best New Planting Application following a report she prepared on woodland creation in the forestry policy and law module of her course in 2021. 

She was presented with a specially carved wooden trophy and £250 prize money to recognise her achievements.

As part of Tilhill’s work to strengthen links with future foresters, the company presents awards to top performing students at universities offering forestry-related subjects across the UK.

Dr Eadie, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Technology Manager at Fountains Forestry, said: I am delighted to receive the Tilhill award for ‘Best New Planting Application.’ I decided to study forestry because I wanted to change careers from my previous job as an academic researcher.

“Living in the Scottish Highlands you see forestry all around and this stirred my interest in finding out more about the cycle of timber production.

“The course at the Scottish School of Forestry was excellent, taught by lecturers with industry experience and a wealth of knowledge to share. It helped prepare us for working in the field, and the year out spent within a company was particularly useful. Following my placement with Fountains Forestry, I was happy to accept their offer of a permanent position and I am now their GIS and Technology Manager, involved with mapping, apps, drone imaging, analytics and much more.”

Leila developed a forest design plan which considered the land capabilities, management aims, local wildlife, and wider landscape when choosing tree species for the planting application.

Leila added: It's all about putting the right tree in the right place, to use a popular phrase, and that's what forestry should be; a productive investment but also an opportunity to enhance our landscapes for future generations of people, plants and wildlife.”

David Edwards, Tilhill’s Forestry Director, said:Scotland has set ambitious tree planting targets to combat climate change and the forestry industry needs more people like Leila choosing to enter the sector to ensure we help meet woodland creation targets to sequester carbon, provide wildlife habitats, prevent flooding and supply much needed home-grown timber.

“Congratulations to Leila for winning the Tilhill award for best new planting application, which considers all the benefits that forestry and nature-based solutions can bring for future generations.

“At Tilhill we run an awards programme with a number of universities across the UK, and it is great to have such a long-running association with the Scottish School of Forestry in Inverness. I would like to encourage students like Leila to consider applying for our graduate programme which is open until the end of February.”

Neil Cleland, Depute Head of the Scottish School of Forestry, Lecturer and Placement Coordinator, said: “Leila showed great enthusiasm and determination whilst studying at the Scottish School of Forestry. Her application demonstrated a clear understanding of the requirements, and the quality of her work was extremely high. We wish her all the best for her career endeavors and congratulate her on receiving this award.”


Issued by Tilhill