Neville Elstone is the Director of Cumbria Woodlands, having worked for the organisation since 2002. He is a passionate advocate for forestry, the environment and rural development.
His career spans 37 years in the sector and has been wide-ranging; starting in a very hands-on way, working on the forest floor, before moving into arboriculture and management. A degree in forestry at the National School of Forestry followed, including a year’s work for the Forestry Commission and a period of study in Northern California. While doing post-graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh he worked in woodland management, writing management plans and developing large scale native woodland creation schemes. He then moved on to work for the Institute of Chartered Foresters, developing forest policy, before coming to Cumbria Woodlands. During his time with Cumbria Woodlands he has focused on rural development, wood for heat, the use of woodlands in Natural Flood Management and the management of Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites.
He has acted as an advisor for the Forestry Commission and rural funding agencies at a national and regional level and plays an active role in the Institute of Chartered Foresters (he was a Council member and the first forester they employed). Neville is a frequent guest lecturer and advisor to the National School of Forestry. He is the former chair of the Fells and Dales Leader Group, which oversaw the investment of £8 million pounds of grant funding.