Forestry Commissioner

Hilary Allison PhD, MICFor


Hilary Allison is currently Head of Ecosystem Assessment and Policy Support at UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. She was Director of Policy at the Woodland Trust for 17 years and has participated in several government-led processes on forest and tree health policy as well as leading advocacy work to enhance policy on woodland conservation. She is a former chair of Wildlife and Countryside Link, and also worked briefly for the National Trust and the Nature Conservancy Council.

Forestry Commissioner

Forestry Commissioners have a number of specific statutory duties and powers, summarised in the Forestry Act as:

  • promoting the interests of forestry
  • the development of afforestation
  • the production and supply of timber and other forest products

In practice, these mainly relate to providing incentives (grants), regulation though controls on felling, plant health issues and managing the public forest estate.

The Commissioners have a legal duty to seek a reasonable balance between the production and supply of timber and the interests of conservation. In promoting the multiple benefits of forestry, they also seek to take careful account of people’s needs and wishes, including local communities.

Forestry Commission