THE Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) has appointed two new honorary fellows.

Tony Kirkham MBE and Sue James AA Dipl RIBA have both been given the prestigious titles in recognition of their service to the advancement of arboricultural knowledge.

Before retiring in 2021, Tony had a distinguished 43-year career as head of arboretum, gardens and horticultural Services at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he was responsible for the management and curation of more than 14,000 trees.

Regularly appearing on TV to share his love of and expertise about trees, he was also committed to encouraging young people to consider a career in arboriculture.

He was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour in 2019 and an MBE in 2019 for services to the Royal Botanic Gardens and arboriculture, and was made an honorary lifetime fellow of the Arboricultural Association in 2015, receiving the Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

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He said: “I have had the most enjoyable and amazing career working with trees. To be recognised for all your achievements helping to promote the science and enjoyment of trees by members of your profession is indeed an incredible accolade and such a humbling feeling, and I look forward to the conference in spring.”

Sue is a chartered architect and a founding member and convenor of the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG), established in 2007, gaining charitable status in 2013.

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Led by passionate individuals from both the public and private sectors, TDAG’s work increases people’s awareness of trees in the built environment, highlighting the benefits trees can bring by influencing the planning, design, construction and management of urban infrastructure and spaces. She is a huge advocate for trees and is an influential figure in the sector. Sue has worked in a private practice in West Wales, focusing on sustainable buildings.

Sue said: “Being awarded an honorary fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Foresters was a surprise and I feel very honoured to have been considered.

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“I am also very encouraged because all of our combined efforts over the years have not only brought ‘trees’ and especially ‘urban trees’ up both the political and practice agendas, but trees have also been a catalyst for inter-disciplinary collaboration.

“But I am also conscious that the work that I have done through the Trees and Design Action Group over the last 15 years or so has not been a sole effort.”