Our Woodland Management Team

 Woodland Management and Training Coordinator

Portrait of Tom Dillon

Tom Dillon - [email protected] 

Tom coordinates and teaches courses at the Green Wood Centre, as well as contributes to the management of the site. He has been a green woodworker for over ten years, starting out as Mike Abbott’s chairmaking assistant in 2011. He lived and worked in various woodlands around Herefordshire, and worked in a green woodwork teaching role for a Special Education College for young adults in the West Midlands.  

His main crafts include green wood stool and chair-making, pole-lathe spindle and bowl-turning, spoon carving, and roundwood timber-framing, and his favourite tree is Ash.

Project Development and Delivery Coordinator

David Reeve - [email protected]

David began his working life as an archaeologist, specialising in the prehistory of Britain before chance led him into writing for television. For 21 years he ran his own media and PR company making programmes and designing communications campaigns for large clients in the professional sports, events, arts and environmental sector.

David project manages a number of programmes including Mercian, the Succession Project and the Small Woods initiative on Biodiversity.

Research Support Officer


Christine Holding - [email protected]

Christine was engaged in agroforestry and community forestry programmes in the Sahel and East Africa for a number of years, latterly with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi. Following this, she was Forestry Officer in the People and Forests Team of the Forestry Department, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy, and has subsequently undertaken consultancy work for the National Forest Monitoring and Assessment Team. Christine has extensive experience in the design and implementation of socio-economic surveys in association with forest inventory, as well as preparing and collating policy briefs and advisory materials, and is delighted to have the opportunity to apply this skill set to the local context in support of small woodland management.

Christine has postgraduate qualifications from the University of Reading and ENGREF in Montpellier, France. She is passionate about everything to do with woodlands and is an active supporter of the health and wellbeing benefits of access to nature. She is a qualified Forest School Leader.

Training Officer

Chris Keeler - [email protected]

Chris co-ordinates and teaches woodland management and heritage skills, mainly in the south of England, as well as being the lead trainer for the Lost Woods project in Sussex and lead contact for SWA members in the area.

A fourth-generation forester and coppice worker, Chris grew up in the sweet chestnut coppice woods of Kent and has worked in the coppice, woodland, and arboriculture industry for over 20 years. He considers himself very fortunate to have learned his trade from some of the last ‘proper’ woodsmen who cut trees with axe, hook, and hand saw and still tools he still uses these tools to  to this day. He is passionate about passing on this knowledge to others, as well as communicating his love of all things nature.

Outside of SWA, you will often find Chris demonstrating coppicing and heritage skills at shows around the south-east, or on a cricket pitch somewhere. Naturally, his favourite tree is sweet chestnut.

East of England Biodiversity Advisor - Mercian Woodland Biodiversity Project


Russell Critchley - [email protected]                                                                                                                                                       

Russell began working for Small Woods as a voluntary intern in 2016, after graduating from Plymouth University with a BSc in Biological Sciences. Since then, he has worked in various roles for Small Woods as well as for the Rivers Trust and Hill Holt Wood.

In 2019, Russell established Deadwood: a countryside management company. To date, Deadwood manages several woodlands across the East Midlands, has laid over 4 miles of hedgerow and is currently training an apprentice hedgelayer and coppice worker.

Woodland Biodiversity Advisor

Rachel Bates -  [email protected]                                                                                                                                                                  

Having spent a decade and more in ecological consultancy, specialising in bats and habitat surveys, Rachel completed an MSc in Conservation and Forest Protection in 2020. She advises project participants on how to better manage their woodlands to benefit wildlife.

Her favourite tree is Silver Birch, because it’s simply a lovely tree in every way.

Woodland Management Project Officers (Wales)

John Mitchell

John Mitchell  - [email protected]

John has a varied  background, working on environmental and land management projects across the public, private and third sectors. With a specialism and particular fondness for trees and woodlands, he has endeavoured to prolong his childhood playing in the woods, just with louder and more expensive toys. Owing so much of his own personal happiness to time spent in nature, he feels obliged to pass this on and enable others to experience its benefits for themselves.


Alice Brawley - [email protected]

Alice is Woodland Management Project Officer for North Wales. Alice has experience in both the public and private sector where she has managed a community woodland in central Scotland for the last 3-years and worked for a small private forestry company focusing on woodland creation in the Scottish borders. She is experienced working with different landowners and designing and managing woodlands with an environmental and social focus.

Passionate about all things tree and woodlands, she is enthusiastic about enabling the UK’s woodlands to be better managed for people, wildlife and local production. She is interested in developing projects which enable different uses of wood-based products and exploring how woodlands can fuel creativity. Over the last year she managed the build of a Musical Forest – an outdoor space hosting wooden musical instruments – and is building a yurt in her free time.

At Coed Lleol she is responsible for surveying, monitoring and advising on woodland management and delivering woodland management activities as part of our wellbeing sessions.

 Portrait of Aaron Berg

Aaron Berg - [email protected]

Aaron is the Woodland Management Project Officer for South Wales. His love of working on the land has led him through a 15-year career of contracting in commercial forestry, private woodland management and tree surgery. He also runs a sawmill and building business specialising in traditional green timber framing.

At home he manages an off-grid woodland smallholding where he grows food and timber with his family. His favourite tree is a sweet chestnut for their delicious nuts and beautiful, useful timber.

Projects and QA Officer

Steve Warwood - [email protected]

Steve joined Small Woods as a Projects Officer four years ago to work on the Defra ELMS project. After working on several other projects, he is now helping to design, deliver and assess accredited training programmes to the Small Woods stakeholder community. He also has responsibility for Quality Assurance activities across the organisation.

Before this, he worked in many different industries which include photographic, printing, textiles, automotive, defence and forestry, mainly within the arena of quality management. He is also currently a Sessional Tutor with the University of Warwick.

Over the years Steve has travelled to over 40 different countries. Now grandchildren, guitars, gardening and golf keep him busy alongside the duties as a Town Crier of Wellington, Shropshire.