Finding the Natural Way: Michael Steed, UK

Michael describes his enterprise in forest conservation and his experience of setting it up.

I have been running my own forest consultancy practice based in Exeter, England since December 2014.

Following redundancy I decided to follow my guidance and become a freelance consultant. I was already a graduate in forestry as well as a qualified as a Chartered Forester -- and I felt the time was right to take the leap of faith. It was now or never!

Experienced in both rural and urban environments I have over 30 years experience working with trees, forests and associated habitats and species. Specialising in silviculture and sustainable forest management my services also include assessment of natural capital and ecosystem services, biodiversity, timber resources, climate change, pest and diseases and new forest creation and regeneration.

I also advise on trees in relation to development and the built environment where construction companies want to build but also retain mature trees already on the site.

Trees and forests provide such a wide range of benefits for local communities, businesses and on a global scale like no other natural resource. The list includes providing biodiversity, timber resources for construction and heating, sequester carbon, water quality management and flood control, preventing soil erosion and wider landscape and ecosystem interactions. In towns and cities, trees filter air-borne pollutants, provide shade, visual amenity and reduce wind speeds as well as storing carbon and encouraging wildlife into our urban environments’.

My clients include the National Trust, private landowners, property developers, National Grid and more recently I have been involved with the HS2 project.

The most rewarding paths are rarely the easier ones and the past three years have been tough. But the taste of freedom over ones path is far sweeter than the security that comes with a salaried job.

In the book “Adam and His Children” page 97 ‘Standing on your own feet’ Bapak says;

“What is an enterprise? Enterprise is work. Yes, it is work you do to earn a living. But, if you are working in an office as an employee, you get a salary every month. This means, in simple terms, that the one who owns the office has bought you. He has bought your efforts, your work, your movements. Whether you like it or not you have to do what he tells you….

….The situation is entirely different when you are doing your own enterprise. When you are standing on your own two feet, doing your own work, whether it is buying or selling or agriculture: whatever it is you can do it as you like. What this means is not that you can do it any which way, but you will be in a position to begin to understand more things - indeed everything that you need to know for your life. Because you are free to follow the guidance which is within you”.

As for the future, I am hoping to diversify my range of services and focus on wider strategic business streams such as natural capital and ecosystem services assessment, certification and carbon markets.

Please visit his website here; for more information or if you have trees and forests and you need an expert opinion please do get in touch 🙂

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