Members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters have elected Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor as the new president.
Sharon succeeds Alastair Sandels FICFor, who has completed two years in the role. Geraint Richards FICFor, head forester for the Duchy of Cornwall, succeeds Sharon in the role of vice president. Sharon is the first chartered arborist, and only the second female, to hold the position of president.
Sharon qualified as a professional member of the Institute in 2009, was promoted to fellow in 2014 and has significant experience in the sector. She is managing director of Sharon Hosegood Associates, an arboricultural consultancy providing advice on managing trees on development sites, in the wider landscape and within the community. Sharon also hosts and produces Tree Lady Talks, a podcast series that covers all things trees, nature, outdoor spaces and well-being through conversations with fascinating people from all walks of life.
Sharon becomes president at a time where trees are firmly in the public eye, enjoying increased social, economic and political attention.
Sharon commented: “It is a privilege and honour to be president of the Institute at a time when the pressures of climate change and biodiversity loss are major global concerns. As arboriculturists and foresters, we can help meet these challenges, and we will make sure that all members are heard, supported, and can thrive. I look forward to working with the Institute in progressing our new technical membership class as recently voted in by members.
“This is also a time of increasing research, innovation, and a greater understanding of how nature makes us feel better. We are working with other professions and allied organisations to push trees up the agenda to make a difference on the ground and to people’s lives. There is much work to do and not enough skilled people to do it, so we will continue to let others know that working in arboriculture and forestry is a great career choice; not just for young people, but for career changers as well.
“This is a pivotal time to work with trees. Right now, our work has never been more important. We can guide the change, we will make the difference. It’s not just trees we need – it’s people working with trees.”
Following the Institute of Chartered Foresters 2021 AGM and the successful passing of a Special Resolution regarding the introduction of a new class of technical membership, outgoing president Alastair Sandels FICFor commented: “The establishment of the principle of technical membership must count as a highlight of my presidency. It has the potential to professionalise our industries and enhance the Institute’s influence. Technical members will have a great deal to offer and hopefully the Institute can offer back equally, with challenge, support and opportunity. My hope is Council are encouraged to strengthen and offer even greater support to the management team and empower them to deliver even more for current and for aspiring members.
“It has been an honour and privilege to serve the Institute and my best wishes and thanks go to Sharon, Council, the management team and all who give their time to the work of the Institute.”