Neil Stewart

Lecturer in forestry, Programme Coordinator FE content

Lecturer in forestry, Programme Coordinator FE

TQFE Stirling University UG Certificate

I started my forestry career in 1978 as a forest worker and chainsaw operator with the Forestry Commission in the outskirts of Aberdeen. I gained valuable forestry and estate maintenance skills while working there then after at Castle Forbes estate and also sawmilling skills while working at Waterside sawmill Alford. I studied Harvesting at the Forestry Industry Centre (now Scottish School of Forestry) in 1982 whilst at Castle Forbes.

I started working at the college’s Forest Industry Centre in 1984, as the Technician. Main role was to ensure that equipment was available for lessons, which included all the machinery. I gained FASTCo recognition as a Chainsaw Instructor in 1989 and Scottish Skills Testing Service Assessor. I taught SVQ II forestry students in 1995. After that course, I was involved in the delivery of chainsaw courses, as a member of bank staff, whilst still carrying out my technician duties. These courses were run on a commercial basis. I became a full time Lecture in Forestry in 2003, teaching all practical forest skills at Certificate level (4 & 5).


Courses Taught

Certificate in Land Based studies (Level  4)  Certificate in Forestry (level 5)- all subjects in Practical forestry skills

National Progression Award (NPA) in Woodland Operations (Level  6) – Woodfuel and Mobile sawmilling.

Short courses – all chainsaw levels (in ground work).  LANTRA Training and Assessment. NPTC/ City and Guilds Assessment.  FISA refresher training.  ATV “Sit in” and “sit astride”, Chippers, Pole Pruners, Clearing saws/strimmers.

Professional memberships

FISA - Forest Industry Safety Accord – trainer

LANTRA – trainer, assessor & +F refresher trainer

NPTC/City and Guilds assessor

RSFS - Royal Scottish Forestry Society - Northern region committee member

HIFIC – Highlands and Islands Forestry Cluster group – Committee member


I have been involved in Forestry work since the late 70’s, mainly in motor manual harvesting.

For the past ten years I have organised the Woodfuel supply to the Scottish School of Forestry and two other customers: this included ensuring enough timber was available to chip on site using tractor mounted and self-powered chippers.

My main interest is in chainsaw work and timber extraction: gaining all ground-based chainsaw certification and FMOC - Skidder and Forwarder.


Main interest is working outdoors and passing on the skills I have learned to others.

I took a keen interest in the Woodfuel system installed at the Scottish School of Forestry and have been involved in various projects relating to Woodfuel supply and completed several courses run by RDI -Woodfuel -Ignite courses with LANTRA assessment

I have taken several groups of students over to the Isle of Rum for two week work experience, where they live and work together for the two weeks learning valuable people, life and work skills.

Neil Stewart