A Message from Andy Ross

I am writing to let you all know that I will be leaving New Caledonian Woodlands after over 10 years running the organisation. New Caledonian Woodlands started in summer 2006 as an idea to link native species woodland creation and management with broader environmental sustainability issues (specifically biodiversity loss and climate change) and in so doing, to be part of the shift towards a greener and more sustainable Scottish culture. We were constituted in December 2006, delivered our first project in May 2007 and now a good few years down the line, run 9 projects and work with over 1,000 participants per year.

I have learned more in the last 10 years than I ever imagined possible, have gone from being a (sometimes off-tune) one-man band to the manager of a team of 9 motivated, passionate (and refreshingly diverse) staff. I have had lots of amazing experiences and have lots of memories of great times spent in wonderful places with really good people. There have been some tears along the way, usually to do with money, but my war wounds mainly fall into the categories ‘midge bites’, ‘very tired’ or ‘extremely wet and muddy’. I believe that the ripple effect of the work New Caledonian Woodlands has done over the last decade is significant and positive and that this effect will continue to grow.

After 10 years in the same job (a record for me by some margin) I feel that it is time to step away. It will be good for someone new to take over at New Caledonian Woodlands, bringing fresh enthusiasm and new ideas. It will be good for me to have more time to spend with family and friends and to explore new areas of interest for me - I would like to work on my craft skills, take up photography again and try some creative writing. Emma, Taryn and I will be moving to Norway in August – an adventure that might last a year or might last a lifetime.

I will retain an involvement with New Caledonian Woodlands over the next 12 months or so as I am committed to its continuing success……..also because I will miss greatly the projects, the places and most of all the people.

Thank-you for all the memories, my apologies for so regularly being (just a little bit) late.