The Wessex Woodland Management Team

richard baker md of wessex woodland management

David Hunt

Company Director

David set up the company in 1987 after spending time working not only in the south of England, but also in Scotland and Sweden.

David has a wealth of experience in the management of privately owned woodland where a range of management objectives call for a wide knowledge of the industry and a sympathetic approach to the implementation of plans.

David’s interests include rough shooting and stalking and has a deep knowledge of countryside management and conservation.

Flying is also a passion and his PPL is put to good use in getting to and from outlying properties!


Richard Baker

Managing Director

Richard joined the company as Managing Director in January 2021. Well-known and respected within forestry, Richard has a wealth of knowledge and experience based on over 32 years within the industry.

Richard ran his own forestry contracting business for 15 years, before joining Tilhill Forestry Ltd in 2002 as an Area Harvesting Manager and was promoted to Regional Manager in 2008 covering Timber Operations in England. Most recently Richard was Operations Director for East Brothers Timber Ltd.

Richard is a keen mountain biker and spends most weekends out on the tracks and trails across Hampshire.

Richard is based in Hungerford and as well as heading up the business he continues to focus on Harvesting and marketing for clients.

Alan Hunt


Qualifications: City and Guilds Phase 2 Forestry

​Alan specialises in small scale operations which include, fencing, planting, small scale harvesting operations, tree surgery and some garden work if necessary.

Having worked for the company for 31 years, he is now seeing some of the early plantations coming into production and is now involved with the first cycle of harvesting for firewood and chip

Outside of work Alan is a keen clay shooter and spends most Sundays at one of the local clay shoots. His other passion is working his two Labradors on any of the many shoots that he is involved with

Alan is based in Hungerford and manages Woodland throughout the South East


Charlie Hunt


Qualifications: BSC Hons in Forestry

​​After completing his degree at Bangor University, Charlie gained valuable forestry experience in New Zealand and Scotland on aspects of forest management, including working with a local Maori tribe

He joined Wessex in 2013 and as well as looking after a number of estates he also specialises in: The creation and submission of Woodland Management Plans; Carbon Capture calculations; Grant Applications; GIS systems and will soon be qualified as a PfCO Drone Pilot.

Outside work Charlie likes to keep fit and has a passion for exploring new technologies

Charlie is based in Hungerford and manages Woodland around the South East

Chris Denton


Qualifications: National Diploma in Forestry Management (NDFM)

​Chris joined Wessex in 2003 and has over 30 years’ experience in all aspects of forestry management from fencing and planting through to harvesting and marketing as well as management of woodlands for sporting and conservation requirements.

He has also specialised in the restoration and management of acid heath and chalk grassland habitats

Outside work Chris enjoys travelling and cycling

Chris is based in Bournemouth and manages Woodland around Dorset and South Hampshire


Jamie Stewart


Qualifications: National Diploma in forestry

Technicians certificate in arboriculture (Level 5)
Jamie has been with Wessex for 15 years having joined the company after running his own tree surgery business for 10 years. Jamie can give advice on all arboriculturally matters, as well as on aspects regarding woodland management.

Jamie will soon be qualified as a PfCO Drone Pilot.

Outside work Jamie enjoys cycling and spending time with his family

Jamie is based in Devizes and manages Woodland throughout Wiltshire and the South West

Jeremy Cock



  • National Diploma in Forestry Contracting
  • RFS Cert. Arb.
  • LANTA Professional Tree Inspection (P.T.I)

​Jez has worked in the forestry and arboriculture industry for nearly 25 years both in the UK and abroad, after completing his studies at Newton Rigg College in 1996. He joined Wessex in June 2018.

As a qualified LANTRA chainsaw instructor, FISA and NPTC Assessor, Jez provides training in ground based and aerial chainsaw qualifications either from our one of our managed estates or a suitable site at a client’s request.

As well as running our training programme, Jez also undertakes the management of woodland including Tree inspections, bat surveys and overseeing contractors undertaking arboricultural and Forestry operations.

Outside work Jez enjoys cycling to keep fit and exploring the great outdoors with his family and two dogs.

Jez is based in Salisbury and manages Woodland across the South and South West region


John Parker


Qualifications: BSC in Environmental Science and Ecology

John joined the company in 1990 and has been with Wessex for over 30 years.

He specialises in the establishment and maintenance of new woodland and hedgerows, a speciality which is much in demand with the current focus on increasing the UK’s woodland cover for both conservation and timber usage. John can also advise on landscaping jobs using large standard trees.

Outside work John enjoys cycling in the summer months and beating in the winter months with his Spaniels.

John is based in Hungerford and manages woodlands around the South East

Jonathan Rau



  • BSc Ecology & Environmental Science
  • MSc Vegetation Survey & Assessment

Professional Membership

  • Chartered Forester (MICFor) with the Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Professional Member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental ManagersIEEM

Jon joined Wessex in 2016 after 6 years working with the Forestry Commission and brings 25 + years’ experience in the land management sector, with a focus on lowland forest & woodland management. As well as commercial estate management, Jon has qualifications in ecology together with experience in conservation management across a range of different habitats of the priority species.

Jon also brings a wealth of experience in liaising with Regulatory authorities such as EA/NE and of existing grant opportunities for woodland management/new woodland creation.

Outside work Jon likes Running and spending quality time with family and friends

Jon is based in North Hampshire and managed woodland in the South and West


Ralph Gascoigne


Qualifications: BSC Hons in Rural Land Management

​​Ralph joined the company in 2013 after completing his degree at Cirencester agricultural college. Ralph spent several years working as a forestry contractor, before moving into lowland forest management.

With a wide experience in deer control, Ralph can advise on deer and game management in relation to woodlands. He also spends a significant proportion of his time on Harvesting and Marketing.

Outside work Ralph enjoys Wildfowling, Rough shooting, fishing and travel

Ralph is based in West Oxfordshire and manages Woodland in the South East

Tom Theed



  • BSc Hons Forestry
  • RFS Cert Arb & PTI Cert Arb

​Tom joined the company in 2018 and has been working in the estate management and woodland sector since 1996, with experience in all aspects of tree and woodland care. He also has over 10 years’ experience of SSSI habitat management.

At Wessex Tom specialises in digital mapping and works involving Scheduled Monuments. He has in depth knowledge of Esri ArcGIS and is currently working on the integration of drone photography and mapping systems to produce 3D imagery.

Outside work Tom has a passion for classic vehicles, collecting and restoring many over the years, as well as enjoying travel and getting involved in archaeological projects

Tom is based in Wiltshire and manages woodlands throughout the Southwest and South Wales


Nathaniel Dove

Forest Works & Ecology Manager


  • BSc Zoology and Conservation
  • MRes Ecology and Environmental Sustainability
  • Professional Development Award in Ecological Surveying (SCQF Level 7)

Following completing his Master’s in Aberdeen Nathaniel went on to work in the conservation sector for the RSPB and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. He then further specialised in ecological surveying through an 18 month traineeship run by Scottish Wildlife Trust developing survey skills in a wide range of flora and fauna. This led to a job as a field surveyor for an environmental consultancy specialising in bird and protected species surveys. He then decided to gain some experience in the practical side of land management and went into work as a forestry contractor for nearly 8 years. With skills and experience at the ‘sharp end’ of the forestry industry and a background in ecology and conservation it was a natural move to start a career as a Forest works and Ecology Manager with Wessex Woodland Management where he hopes to get stuck in with all aspects of forest management whilst bringing some ecological expertise to the team.

Outside of work Nathaniel loves to spend time with his young family and friends and also has a passion for fitness and salsa dancing.

Nathaniel is based in Hampshire/Berkshire and manages woodlands throughout the South East and South West

darren at wessex woodland management

Darren East


  • Higher National Diploma in Forestry
  • RFS Cert Arb & PTI Cert Arb

Darren joined Wessex in October 2024 from a sporting management company and has worked in forestry and land management since qualifying from the University of Lancashire in 1997.

He has held roles with the Forestry Commission, the MoD and a nation firm of rural surveyors in the north of England before moving to Berkshire to take up a role as a Sporting Consultant.

Darren has worked with landowners and managers across the UK on some of the most iconic shooting estates to manage their woodlands for improved game returns.

Darren is experienced in all aspects of forestry and estate management.

Outside of work he enjoys shooting, fishing and deer stalking and is a qualified shooting instructor.

Darren is based in Hungerford and manages woodland around the South East

ed gloucestershire

Ed Huggett

Ed joined the Wessex family in 2023 and has over 30 years experience in the forestry industry acquiring a plethora of skills along the way.

After starting out his career as a forestry contractor, he swiftly moved into the management side of the industry as he co-managed his previous business covering all aspects from creating, maintaining, harvesting and finally managing woodlands. Knowing and understanding sporting requirements and integrating them with conservation is one of Ed’s key attributes and is something he is proud of.

Outside of work, Ed follows horse racing with the Cheltenham Racecourse on his doorstep. He is also passionate about cricket, whether its playing, fulfilling his role as Vice Chairman at his local club, or supporting his daughter with her cricket career.

Ed is based in Gloucestershire and manages woodland around the Cotswolds.

Sandra Swann

Accounts Manager

Sandra joined the company in June 2015 and is responsible for the accounts, the company payroll and general administration, working alongside Gaynor, Carla And Sarah.

Outside work Sandra enjoys family life, gardening, reading, long walks in the countryside and having as many holidays as she can to relax and experience new cultures.

Sandra is based in Hungerford

Carla Drummond


Carla has been working on a part time basis for the company since 1990, and has therefore seen the company move from strength to strength

Carla assists Sandra, Gaynor and Sarah in the office doing administration

Outside work Carla enjoys reading, meeting up with friends and horse racing

Carla is based in Hungerford


lucy, administrator at wessex woodland management

Lucy Hartley


Lucy joined the company full time at the start of 2024 as an Administrator. She now works alongside Sandra, Sarah and Carla helping with general administration.

Outside of work Lucy enjoys spending time with her horse Rolo, going on sailing trips with her family, walking in the local countryside, gardening and travelling.

Lucy is based in Hungerford

Sarah at wessex woodland management

Sarah Fradgley


Having joined the company in 2020, Sarah works on a part time basis as an administrator. Sarah works alongside Sandra, Gaynor and Carla.

Outside work Sarah enjoys longs walks with her dog Rosie, singing in the local choir, spending time with her family, crocheting which she has recently taken up, and meeting up with friends

Sarah is based in Hungerford

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