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North Conservancy  senior staff at Culloden
Forestry Memories
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No: 642   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1971
North Conservancy senior staff at Culloden

Photograph courtesy of Ernie Michie, Inverness who has named most of the staff. The event was North Scotland Conservancy Senior Conservancy Office Staff and District Officers (DO1 and DO11 being the grades – ie one being the senior and two the junior or trainee) meeting at Culloden Forest around 1970-71.

The people have been numbered from the left back to aid identification and naming which can more easily be seen in the large photograph.

1. Finlay MacRae (DO Dingwall)
2. Ron Marnie (DO Fort Augustus)
3. John Stoakley (Forest Research Entomologist, Roslin, Edinburgh)
4. Norman? MacKenzie (Area Civil Engineer – Torlundy?)
5. Jim Jardine (DO Estates in Conservancy Office)
6. Mark Fox ( Conservancy Mechanical Engineer)
7. Peter Malcolmson (Conservancy Civil Engineer)
8. Ernie Michie (DO Acquisitions)
9. Duncan MacLeod (DO Dingwall)
10. Alan Ray (DO Ft Augustus)
11. David Woodburn (DO Culloden)
12. David Seal (Research Branch soon to be Assistant
Conservator N(S)
13. Howard Bell (DO Acquisitions)
14. Roger Hay (Assist Conservancy Civil Engineer)
15. Marcus Finn? (Assistant Estate Officer)
16. Julian Verel (DO Dingwall)
17. Jim Atterson (DO Dornoch)
18. John Ogilvie (DO Fort William)
19. Tony Cooper (Assist DO short period at Ft William)
20. Tom MacBeath (Conservancy Chief Exec Officer)
21. Jock Chrystall (Assist Conservator - South)
22. Hamish Maxwell (Conservator N(S))
23. Robert Innes (Assist Conservator – North)
24. Andrew Bearhop (Conservancy Estate officer)
25. Paul Biggin (Assist DO Ft William just moved from Dornoch )

Ernie goes on to say:
‘Turning to the Districts :- Fort Augustus had two District Offices ; one covered the Great Glen [Glenurquhart , Creag nan Eun , Port Clair , Inchnacardoch and Glenmoriston] under Ron Marnie as DO1 ; the other was the West District [Ratagan , Inverinate , Eilanreach , Glenshiel with Glengarry and South Laggan in the Great Glen] , run by Alan Ray as DO1 . Prior to being transferred to Acquisitions I ran the west District with Alan Ray the Great Glen .

Dingwall had three seperate offices ; the West [Skye , South Strome , Achnashellach and Achnasheen] under Julian Verel , as DO1.; the east , I seem to recollect , was altered to include the Black Isle , Morangie , Torrachilty and Affric and Lael under Finlay McRae as DO1. Duncan MacLeod, as DO1 , by this time was in the third office and solely concerned with Private Woodlands .

There was no District Office at Balmacara at this time although I seem to remember there being a District Office in the distant past at either South Strome or Kyle of Lochalsh.’

Comments on photograph very welcome. So far, very few photographs of staff from the Conservancies and old style Districts or of the admin staff who also worked there. If you have any images please contact Norman Davidson.
Picture added on 01 September 2010
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add commentComments:
Finlay McRae started my Forestry career in 1969, at the age of 16, he recommended me to Capt Mathieson of Brahan estates, I was employed as an apprentice Forestry worker in the old style.
A few years later after studying at the newly opened Culloden forestry college, he gave me a fellers job with the FC in the Glen Feshie area.

Finlay was an incredible guy, always wore the kilt and that big beard. he was ever ready to help youngsters like me to enter the profession.

Thanks for this great site, unfortunately I no longer have any pictures of my various jobs in the Industry.

Of interest I drove one of the 1st Volvo forwarders in the Country, the Volvo Bm Sm 462 for Fountain forestry in the mid/late 70's. An amazing piece of equipment for its time, having just a 47hp Perkins engine to haul its 15 tonne loaded weight,
Not really suited to working in the Highlands. I must have rolled it 5 or 6 times in hilly terrain, never damaged though, just refilled the oils etc and off she went again.

Added by Chris Spenceley on 31 July 2011.
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