Future Woodlands Scotland – a Scottish charity involved in creating and conserving native woodlands – has appointed its first ever chief executive officer to support its expansion plans.

Shireen Chambers MBE, who is currently executive director of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, will take up the new role in August 2022.

The charity was set up in 2012 to fund 'innovative thinking' for native woodlands. 10 years on, Ms Chambers' primary objective will be to drive forward its mission to create more opportunities for individuals, communities and organisations to boost Scotland’s woodlands through expanded and enhanced funding programmes, policy and partnerships.

She joins the charity midway through the £2m Future Woodlands Fund pilot, which is supported by oil giant BP, and aims to establish one million trees by November 2023. The fund offers land managers free advice and support and a financially attractive, low risk way to plant or regenerate native trees.

Read more: £2 million support scheme expanded to help farmers create native woodlands

Chair of Future Woodlands Scotland, Tim Hall, said: “The trustees and staff are delighted that Shireen is to head-up the charity as our first-ever CEO. She has all the drive, skills and passion necessary to build on all that Future Woodlands Scotland has achieved over the last 10 years and to lead the organisation through its next ambitious phase.

“She is joining us at a key moment in our development as we focus on the benefits that trees and native woodlands can bring to our rural and urban environments in Scotland. Having a CEO will give us that extra resource to deliver a significant step change in the support we offer.”

Ms Chambers said: “As we look forward to the future, I am excited to work with the passionate staff and Board of Trustees, as well as existing and new partners to build on the charity’s excellent work. I am also keen to further our role to campaign for and celebrate collaborations that will help us see a Scotland in which trees and native woodlands are thriving for our wildlife, communities and climate.”

She added: “Trees have an amazing ability to inspire people and to have a positive and far-reaching impact on the environment. Over the past few years, we’ve been seeing an increased interest in trees as a solution to enhanced biodiversity. I plan to bring my experience, energy and enthusiasm to help Future Woodlands Scotland enhance and extend the green and woodland spaces of Scotland.”