Alan Watson Featherstone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Alan Watson Featherstone (born 10, Feb. 1954) is the founder and executive director of the conservation charity Trees for Life.[1]


Alan Watson Featherstone was educated at Strathallan School in Perthshire, Scotland.[2] During the 1970s he travelled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and South America.[3] On his return to the United Kingdom, he joined the Findhorn Foundation in 1978, and for the next fifteen years was at the forefront of its work with nature.[3] In October 1986 he was the main organiser for a major international conference on the world's ecological crisis called, 'One Earth: A Call to Action', involving 240 delegates.[3]

In 1986 he formed Trees for Life, with the aim of restoring the Caledonian Forest and its unique wildlife to the Scottish Highlands.[3] The charity works in partnership with the Forestry Commission, the National Trust for Scotland and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at a number of sites to the west of Loch Ness and Inverness.[4] As of April 2014, the charity has planted over one million native trees.[3] In August 2008, Featherstone oversaw the purchase of the 4,000 hectare Dundreggan Estate for £1.65 million in Glenmoriston.[5] The charity has received numerous awards.[3] He has helped to inspire similar ecological restoration projects in the Scottish Borders, Dartmoor in England and the Yendegaia National Park Project in Tierra del Fuego, Chile.[3]

Featherstone has given lectures and workshops all over the world and spoken at various international conferences including: the World Wilderness Congress, the Society for Conservation Biology annual conference and the Society for Ecological Restoration conference.[3] He has written numerous articles for journals and magazines as well as appearing regularly on television and radio.[3]

He is also an accomplished nature photographer producing his first Findhorn Nature Calendar in 1983 and publishing the annual Trees for Life Calendar and Diary since 1988.[3] His photographs have been published in numerous publications including Time, BBC Wildlife magazine and the Encyclopædia Britannica.[3]

In 2002 Featherstone established the Restoring the Earth project, "to promote the restoration of the planet's degraded ecosystems as the most important task for humanity in the 21st century".[3] The project is overseen by the Earth Restoration Service, of which, Featherstone is a trustee.[3][6] He is also chairman and trustee of Wild Things! an environmental education charity based in the North of Scotland and a former trustee of the Findhorn Foundation.[4]

In 2001 he received the Schumacher Award from the Schumacher Society, for 'his inspirational and practical work on conserving and restoring degraded ecosystems'.[7]



  1. ^ "CIFAL Scotland – Presenters Biographies". CIFAL Scotland. 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "One million green shoots of recovery: Landmark in battle to restore ancient woodlands". Daily Mail. 3 May 2012. p. 17. Retrieved 15 April 2014. Trees for Life (TFL) was founded in 1986 to help re-establish Scotland's own flora and fauna. The project was the brainchild of Allan Watson Featherstone, a former pupil of Strathallan School in Perthshire 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Alan Watson Featherstone confirmed as keynote speaker for green events and innovations". A Greener Festival Limited. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Wild Things! Board of Directors". Wild Things!. 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Travel: The Grumpy Green: Return of the natives". The Guardian. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2014. In 1992 Alan spotted an opportunity to join up patches of forest in Glen Affric, creating a wooded corridor right across the country, a vision now nearing completion. This year the charity also bought the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate in neighbouring Glen Moriston, allowing the possibility of bringing other valleys into the project 
  6. ^ "Repair work: Activists take on Earth restoration". The Guardian. 13 March 2002. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Alan Watson Featherstone". Schumacher College. 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Farmer who took on Trump triumphs in Spirit awards". The Scotsman. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Nature of Scotland Awards – 2013 winners". Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014.