Forestry staff win cash support for innovative work

Forestry Commission staff have been honoured for their roles in developing marketable research and development projects.

They were supported by funds from the commission's innovation and new markets project, which has also helped "spin-out" companies to market two of the products and services involved. The projects included:

Tony Hutchings of Forest Research set up C-Cure Solutions to sell specially-designed charcoals for cleaning up soil.

Josephine Melville-Smith of Forestry Commission England pioneered Forest Xplorer, an iPhone app that enables people to identify tree species and find out about woodlands they are planning to visit.

Dr Shelagh McCartan of Forest Research developed artistic images generated from X-ray images of tree and plant seeds, which will be available as framed prints and other products.

Iain Skinner of Forestry Commission England proposed an environmental service to land developers undertaking mandatory mitigation measures, such as relocating protected species to suitable locations on commission land.

Dr Hugh Evans, head of forest research in Wales, developed a computerised decision support system that helps forest managers to cost-effectively tackle forestry pest Hylobius abietis, a pine weevil that can cause serious damage to newly-planted pine and spruce trees.

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