Born and brought up in the countryside I began my career in forestry aged 16, whilst still attending secondary school.
Through various opportunities which I have been fortunate to be offered, I’ve spent some time studying and working abroad. I was able to study for 5 months at Kuru Institute of Forestry in Finland, which specialised in machine operator training. Some time later, two of the teachers from Kuru established their own company to work in Southern Sweden following the storms of January 2005. They offered me a role within their company, and I spent a year working for them in Sweden.
Upon my return to Scotland, I began working for a local contractor here in the Highlands. During this period I also studied part time for my BSc in Forestry. My role evolved, and latterly I was responsible for the health and safety, pricing and much of the day to day running of the company.
I teach on a number of courses at both FE and HE level from Land Based Engineering (level 4), Certificate in Forestry and up to HNC Forestry (level 7).
My main areas of expertise are machinery, mechanical engineering and harvesting although I am involved in delivering other subjects too.
The majority of my professional experience has been in the harvesting sector. I’ve been fortunate to experience all of the main harvesting methods employed in the UK, and, due to my location, much of this has included steep ground working and peatland restoration works.
My time spent abroad has not only given me an insight into the working practices and new technologies employed in these countries but has allowed me to establish contacts there too.