Sep 02 2021

Woodland Trust Northern Ireland Grows Team

Over the past 9 months the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland has welcomed 3 new team members to help us achieve our aims of protecting, restoring and creating woodland across the country.


Meet the new team members:


Paul Armstrong joined the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland in January 2021 as Public Affairs Manager. He brings over ten years of experience of working with local communities and public policy from his time spent working in the social housing sector and more recently at the National Trust. He is a strong advocate for community engagement, and he is a voluntary board member for the charity Supporting Communities.


Paul is responsible for the trust’s policy and advocacy work in Northern Ireland. This involves managing relationships with government, statutory agencies, and key political audiences to advocate and campaign for changes in legislation, policies, strategies, and plans which will support the creation, protection and restoration of trees and woods in Northern Ireland.


Paul is married to Jayne, and they have two young children. When he is not spending time with his young family he likes to unwind by gardening or spending time outdoors walking or on his bike.





Jo Boylan has been working in the conservation sector for over 15 years and currently works as a Woodland Officer for the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland. Her role is to work with local communities, landowners, farmers, and other organizations to advise on woodland creation, woodland restoration and how to access funding.


Between 2012 and 2021, Jo worked for the Belfast Hills Partnership on a variety of projects the most recent being Belfast Hills Woodland Project. Previously, delivering a 5-year Landscape Partnership Scheme and subsequent 4-year Our Bright Future Project.


These were large portfolio projects that conserved habitats at landscape scale and promoted joined up management for land, biodiversity, heritage, and culture. Between 2007 and 2012 she worked as a Community and Volunteer Manager for Lagan Valley Regional Park, delivering their LPS project. Jo has a passion for connecting communities to their landscape.  




Denise Murphy joined the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland in April 2021 as Project Manager for the Faughan Valley – from fragments to thriving forests project. She took over the reins from Dave Scott and will be working alongside Bronagh Gallagher to deliver the project outcomes which include restoring and protecting ancient woods within the Faughan Valley; improving the visitor experience in the valley by linking up and creating new walking trails for visitors to explore; supporting schools and communities to create woodland in their grounds as well as creating spaces for outdoor learning and last, but definitely not least, encouraging volunteers to get involved in a wide range of conservation activities.


Prior to joining the Woodland Trust, Denise worked in the Planning Team at Causeway Coast and Glens. She has also worked within the Visitor Experience Team at the National Trust at Downhill Demesne. Prior to that she spent many years working within the renewables sector developing and building large scale wind and solar energy projects throughout Ireland. 


Denise has a lifelong interest in the environment and spends as much of her free time as possible outdoors in the countryside or at the coast.  She also does a wee bit of volunteering myself litter picking in her hometown of Portrush (a never-ending task!)”

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