Barbara Milne Chair - Barbara Milne

Barbara is Head of Arboricultural Services at Westminster City Council and has worked for Westminster since 2002.  She has more than 25 years experience as an arboriculturist and has a BSc honours degree in ecology, the RFS professional diploma in arboriculture, is a chartered town planner and is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

She has been a member of the LTOA for most of her career and has been an elected member of the Executive Committee since 2010.  During her time as an LTOA member she has been an active contributor to many working parties, publications and initiatives on behalf of the LTOA, in particular in relation to canopy cover, tree policy, tree preservation legislation, planning and development.

Andy Tipping Vice Chair - Andy Tipping

Trees & Woodlands Manager at London Borough of Barnet. Began working with trees in early 1987, six months before the great storm and following a short arborist career, has been working in Local government since 1995. He is a Chartered Arboriculturist with ICF and qualifications include Professional Diploma in Arboriculture (Level 6).

Has contributed to LTOA publications including Risk Limitation Strategy and CAVAT. Has worked on BS 8545, Joint Mitigation Protocol and was one of the principal authors of National Tree Safety Group: Common Sense Risk Management of Trees.

Executive member of LTOA and past chairman, his main interests are regarding urban trees especially with regard to defending unjustified removal demands in subsidence cases.

John Parker Committee Member - John Parker

John is Arboriculture & Landscape Manager at Transport for London, where he has worked since 2008. He has a BSc (Hons) Arboriculture & Urban Forestry and is a Chartered Arboriculturist as well as being a Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association.

He joined the LTOA Executive Committee in 2012 and was Chair between 2016 and 2018. He is a regular contributor to industry seminars and publications and in recent years has presented at numerous national and international conferences. In 2017 he was named Young European Urban Forester of the Year by the European Forum on Urban Forestry.

Dave Lofthouse Committee Member - Dave Lofthouse

Has been in the arboricultural profession since 1974; as a tree surgeon for many years in Bristol, London and the USA before returning to his London roots as Arboricultural Officer, then Manager at L.B Merton since 1989. Gained a National Diploma and National Certificate 1986 and 1989 and Professional Diploma (RFS) in 2005, all at Merrist Wood.

Member and/or Chair of many working parties since 1990, Chair of the Association in 1999 - 2000 and 2010-12.

Takes his holidays wherever there are trees or a need for more trees!

Oliver Stutter Committee Member - Oliver Stutter

An indigenous Londoner (Balham) working for Southwark Council since 1999, latterly as an arboricultural services manager and now as a senior planner in urban forestry. Previous experience in Bolivia, Cameroon and the Solomon Islands studying forest ecology and working as a forestry extensionist and consultant. 

MSc Forestry and its Relation to Land use, BSc Tropical Environmental Science, HND Conservation Management, professional member of the Arboricultural Association and Chartered Environmentalist.  

Paul Akers

Committee Member (Honorary) - Paul Akers

Arboricultural Manager at Westminster City Council since 1972. Manages a team of 5 professional officers covering all aspects of tree care through out Westminster . Training at Wisley & Merrist Wood where he obtained a Wisley Diploma in Horticulture and RFS Diploma in Arboriculture. He is Chairman of London Division of Royal Forestry Society.

Colleen O'Sullivan Committee Member - Colleen O'Sullivan

Colleen has been a tree officer for London Borough of Camden since 2011 and a member of the LTOA Executive Committee since 2014. Most days she is out of the office inspecting and assessing trees in the borough. She has a BA in Humanities, MSc in Urban Forestry & Arboriculture and a Graduate Certificate in Agroforestry. She is an ISA Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist and a member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

  Committee Member - Dale Mortimer

Dale Mortimer has been the Tree Service Manager for the London Borough of Ealing since 2011. He has a Higher National Diploma in Arboriculture and a BSc in Social and Community Forestry. After graduating Dale spent five years on the tools as a climbing arborist before becoming an Arboricultural Officer with the London Borough of Wandsworth.

 He has been an active member of the LTOA for 12 years participating in working parties including PR, Massaria, OPM, Bio-Security and Contract Procurement. He wrote Ealing’s first Tree Strategy in 2013 and in 2016 tendered the Councils arboricultural contract in a rather creative eleven Lot package; which sought to encourage more interest from small businesses.

Jon Ryan

Committee Member - Jon Ryan

Jon Ryan is the Arboricultural Manager at the London Borough of Islington and a senior consultant for iCo Green. He has been involved with arboriculture for thirty years, working as a tree surgery contractor and manager for twenty years before becoming a tree officer in 2008.  After a stint at Camden Council he became the TPO officer at Islington in 2009 and the team manager in 2017.

 Jon has been actively involved in the LTOA and was the chair for the planning working party, helping to produce guidance on tree related planning conditions and presenting the conditions to the National Tree Officers Conference in 2017. Jon holds the ND arb, NCH and Technical certificate in arboriculture.

Richard Edwards Committee Member - Richard Edwards

Having studied Forestry at Newton Rigg (1985-1988) and a year working for the Forestry Commission in the Sitka spruce plantations Argyll, Richard join St Albans City and District Council in 1989-94 as Trees and Woodlands Officer managing council trees and dealing with planning matters. In 1994 he joined the London Borough of Croydon as Trees and Woodlands Officer managing trees, with particular responsibility for woodland management and OPM. Richard is a Past Chair of The LTOA 2014-16. Richard recognises the importance of the grass roots tree officer and take a very practical view of urban tree management.

Al Smith 

Committee Member (Honorary) - Al Smith

He started his arboricultural career in 1974 working in Greenwich Royal Park in the tree gang, mainly involved in the control of Dutch Elm Disease. He joined the then the Greater London Council as arborist team leader in 1975, before starting work at Camden Council in 1981 as Tree Foreman, he was subsequently promoted to Arboricultural manager in the late 1980s. A post which he held for nearly 30 years. He has been a co-opted Executive Committee member for many years assisting with financial management, business planning, assisting in the organisation of European field trips, coordinating the LTOA’s national forum for tree officer groups/forums and more recently he joined the public relations working party. He retired from Camden Council in 2018, and is now a Honorary Executive Committee member, and continues to be very much involved in the committee. In more recent years he has become a professional member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, and an Assessor for the organisation’s Professional Management Examination. He is also a member of the National Tree Officers Conference Steering Group.

Craig Ruddick

Committee Member - Craig Ruddick

Craig is the Arboricultural Manager at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, where he has worked since 2001. Craig began life at Richmond under a two week temporary contract as an admin assistant, however he soon gained an interest in Arboriculture and was then employed as the Council's Arboricultural Support Officer. He went on to study at Merrist Wood gaining the AA Technicians Certificate and then worked in various roles including Tree Inspector, Surveyor for early Oak Processionary Moth outbreaks and Richmond's Arboricultural Planning & Policy Officer.

He became section manager in 2012, and an immediate challenge was to steer the section through a period of efficiency; Craig has focussed on raising the profile of the Arboricultural Section at Richmond, this has involved developing positive working relationships with multiple stakeholders including many council services, community groups and societies.

Craig is responsible for the management of Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) in Richmond and uses his experience to represent the LTOA at the OPM Strategic Advisory Group, which is a forum for external comment on Government policy and management of OPM.

Becky Hesch

Executive Officer - Becky Porter

She has been in the role for 19 years, except for one year 2001 - 2002. She has an MA in Conservation Policy, Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Education, Advanced Certificate in Public Relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.


How to Become a Member

Members can attend, for free, the LTOA meetings which are held four times a year and cover a wide range of tree related matters.

Click here to find out how to become an associate member