Neil Cleland

Depute Head of the Scottish School of Forestry, Lecturer and Placement Co-ordinator content

Depute Head of the Scottish School of Forestry, Lecturer and Placement Co-ordinator



I worked in forestry as a self-employed contractor and in management for Tilhill and the Forestry Commission for over 10 years before slotting into the lecturing role.  Firstly, at CantrayBridge Rural Skills college for special needs adults where I was Senior Lecturer.  I assisted with the setting up of the teaching programme using SQA unit/module guidelines and local estates for practical operations.

Whilst at Cantraybridge I learned sign language as we had two profoundly deaf students and this lead onto to my qualifying as a British /English Sign Language interpreter

I had been bank staff at the Scottish School of Forestry for over 20 years teaching on the Certificate in Forestry courses before joining the team as a full time lecturer 5 ½ years ago and am now teaching the Land Based Skills, Certificate in Forestry and the HND 1st year students. I became Depute Head in 2020.

I have recently successfully completed my TQFE BA and Sustainable Forest Management BSc.


Courses Taught

Predominantly I teach on the Certificate in Land Based Skills (soon to become NC Rural Skills) and the Certificate in Forestry courses.  I teach mainly practical skills in the estate and forestry industry.

I also teach the Woodland Nursery Production unit on the HNC/HND 1st year Forestry/Arboriculture course and am the Placement co-ordinator for the HND forestry mid-year placement year

Professional memberships

  • Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters


My main areas of expertise are in the practical aspects of forestry and forest nursery operations.

I have good communication skills and work well across departments and disciplines.

I have developed a good rapport with all students and my interpreting background has come in useful on a number of occasions in my department as well as others.