Planning Forester

21 December 2018

Forestry Comission Scotland, Newton Stewart £30,140 - £33,303, plus benefits

It's an exciting time for Forestry in Scotland, our organisation is changing and we need people to help us during our evolution and beyond.

The Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 completes the devolution of forestry from Westminster to Holyrood. Under this Act, Scottish Ministers will set up two new executive agencies: Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) responsible for the management of the National Forest Estate and Scottish Forestry (SF) responsible for policy, regulation and grant-giving for tree planting.

As a Planning Forester within South Region of FLS, you will have the opportunity to work within a team to help shape the future management of 115,000 ha of land across Galloway.

A Planning Forester is an exciting and forward thinking role that combines leadership with facilitation and problem solving skills. Our land management plans have to be efficient and practical, but also responsive to the opportunities that the land offers and to the context of FES Corporate Plan objectives. Preparing a plan requires you to get out and about to gain first-hand knowledge of the land and develop a thorough understanding of the key management issues. In planning, you will be encouraged to think laterally and work with others to explore options to find the best land management solutions and to exploit new opportunities to improve the management of the National Forest Estate.

This permanent post will be based in the Newton Stewart office of the South Region which brings together the former FES Galloway and Dumfries & Borders Forest Districts.

You will facilitate a ‘whole team’ approach to the review and preparation of land management plans, setting out clear objectives and programmes of work to secure multiple benefits on Scotland’s National Forest Estate. You will engage with a range of disciplines, and the resulting plans will enable all members of the wider team to understand what is required of them in managing the estate towards delivering the outcomes FES has agreed with stakeholders and regulators.

Knowledge and direct experience of working in forest or land management and evidence of facilitation skills and collaborative working are key requirements of this job. The ideal candidate will be a member, or working towards membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or another relevant professional body.

The job offers the opportunity for flexible working and FES/FLS operate a flexi time system. Relevant Forester GIS and land management plan training as well as on the job mentoring is provided for new planning staff.


Read what our staff have to say;

Ed Turner, a Planning Forester, explains a little more about his role;

“I started with FES in 2016, having previously worked in the environment sector as an ecologist. As a Planning Forester, it’s the diversity in the job that I really enjoy, and spend time both behind a desk and out in the forest. I’m involved with the many facets of land management planning, such as forestry, Silviculture, ecology, hydrology, landscape design, civil engineering, with public consultation and project management thrown in to the mix too! Do I consider myself an expert in all these fields? Of course not: whilst I brought some skills and expertise with me from previous experience, I’ve been well supported within FES learning new skills through internal and external formal training, such as Landscape Design, and gained experience and confidence through mentoring and support from some great colleagues. I’ve even been supported to start a part-time postgraduate diploma in Forestry through Bangor University to help my development and career progression prospects within FES. All-in-all, it’s a great job, and a great organisation to work for.”


Euan Wiseman, who is also a Planning Forester, stated;

“Being a Planning Forester allows you to take a project from a concept for an area, and develop the plans into deliverable goals within a timeframe.  It utilises all aspects of forestry and calls for liaison with all the other internal departments and external stakeholders. You have to be able to communicate well and be able to adapt ideas to meet as many needs as possible and maximise the opportunities in the landscape. Working for FES ensures that you are given a range of plans with a range of complexity, and on a large and small scale. While there is the need to maintain and increase the productive capacity of the National Forest Estate, this is not always the primary goal and you’re able to diversify forests to help mitigate risks.” 


The key responsibilities for the role will include:

  • Prepare land management plans (LMP) in line with the UK Forestry Standard and the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme. This includes analysis of financial, environmental and social aspects of plan proposals as well as undertaking Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) determinations when required as part of LMP revisions or amendments;
  • When preparing a LMP, collaborate with relevant colleagues to explore management options, creatively address key problems identified at scoping and provide efficient and practical solutions to meeting LMP objectives over the required timeframe;
  • As part of LMP preparation process, build and maintain excellent working relationships with stakeholders such as community groups and statutory consultees;
  • Support the GIS Technician to maintain the local Geographic Information System (GIS) system and its data, e.g. forest inventory data held within the sub-compartment database;
  • Liaise with other members of the wider team on planning matters.

For more information and to apply, please visit our website:


0300 067 5300

Please quote ref 1603175. Closing date: 3 February 2019, 23:59


No recruitment agencies please.


We are committed to providing equal opportunities for all sectors of our diverse community.