6 Apr 2022

Blog: Hugh is our Access, Health and Recreation Policy Advisor

Scotland's forests and woodlands have a huge role to play in creating a healthier society. Our woodlands are natural stress busters, great places to go and relax, or take exercise in. They are also very importnt in simply improving the environment in where we live or work. 

Hugh McNish, Scottish Forestry's Access, Health and Recreation policy advisor is right at the heart of our work to ensure forests and woodlands play a key role in improving our health.

We've asked Hugh what it is like to work in Scottish Forestry and what his job is all about.

If you are interested in working for Scottish Forestry you can check our latest vacancies here.

Hugh McNish

Describe your job in three words?
Partnerships. Advocacy. Communication.

What does your role involve?
I work with a range of partners advocating the health benefits of woodlands and forests and how they can improve people’s health and well-being. A part of this involves representing Scottish Forestry on a number of external Boards and Forums such the Green Exercise Partnership and National Access Forum.

What does a typical day look like?
The variety of the job ensures there is no such thing. One day I could be out at a hospital site viewing the developments of their greenspace improvement programme. The next day I could be involved in a big Teams meeting with researchers assessing the impact of our Woodlands In and Around Towns grant programme. I also get involved in national recreation surveys and even get to draft answers for Parliamentary Questions.

What is your favourite part of the job?
I’d say being part of the new People and Communities team within Scottish Forestry. Here I have the opportunity to shape how our woodlands can benefit Scotland in terms of access, health and recreation – it’s a really exciting area of work. I also enjoy the variety of people and partners that I get to work with.

Hugh McNish 3

What did you do/work as before working with Scottish Forestry?
I managed the Exercise Referral Scheme for Glasgow City Council.

What are the best things about working for Scottish Forestry?
Getting out and about throughout Scotland to see new forests and programmes, connecting people to their local woodlands. The organisation has always been supportive in taking forward and developing new areas of work. This has allowed me to be involved with some unique and ground breaking projects, both in my current post and previous role in Scottish Forestry. These have included the first natural play space in a school ground in Scotland, the Commonwealth Woods national legacy programme and helping to establish our Engagement Programme.