The Development Board meets twice a year to advise HighGround’s team and keep it up to date with developments and current trends within members’ respective fields.
David Steele is a Scot from the town of Ayr – ‘The Burns Country’ – he was educated at Ayr Academy and then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and subsequently spent 45 years in the Army. David was appointed Military Knight of Windsor in May 2010 and lives in Windsor Castle. He continues to play an active role in veterans affairs.
As a former Commanding Officer of 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, he has extensive operational command and staff experience gained worldwide in the most demanding environments.
Since leaving the Army in 2007 he has operated at board level in the overseas security sector as well as in the sustainable energy sector where he has raised funding for diverse overseas energy-related projects as well as overseeing Intellectual Property Rights development programmes and business start-ups. He returned to the UK and his home county of Monmouthshire in 2010 and he assumed his current as Head of Engagement for the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Wales.
Away from work he is actively involved in the voluntary youth sector. He was Commandant of the Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force from 2012-2015 and became the Colonel Cadets for Wales in June 2015. He has been a trustee on the Executive Board of the Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS) and is currently a trustee of the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust.
I am a dedicated Horticulturalist and have worked in this field for 40 years in many disciplines. My expertise ranges from crop production, amenity, sports turf, work-based learning, lecturer, tutor, teacher, team manager and includes working closely with City and Guilds as an External Quality Assurance advisor and LANTRA. Latterly working as a Land-based Consultant with training providers, FE and HE colleges and HM Prison Service.
I enjoy the outdoors as a keen walker, cyclist and photographer. I also list cooking, preserving and gardening as my hobbies.
‘After studying Forestry at University in Bangor, Geraint spent four years working for the Forestry Commission in the Weald Forest District. He took up his current post, as Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall, in 1996 and his role now includes the management of all the woodlands and forests across the Duchy’s estate plus considerable involvement in a number of forestry-related initiatives and organisations. In recent years Geraint has become involved in promoting learning and development in the forestry (and wider land-based) sector; he works closely with many organisations including the Forestry Commission, the Institute of Chartered Foresters, the Royal Forestry Society, Scottish Land & Estates and The Prince’s Trust, to name but a few. Geraint also has a strong connection with the Canadian Institute of Forestry, of which he is an honorary lifetime member.’
Simon Higgens MBE
Simon Higgens left the British Army in December 2012 after 29 years’ service. A Royal Engineer, he deployed on operations to Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq, Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). His final appointment in the Army was Commanding Officer of Glasgow and Strathclyde UOTC where he was involved in establishing a comprehensive and broad network of support for Service Leavers, Veterans and their families in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
Upon leaving the Army, Simon worked for Babcock International Group as a Senior Programme Manager in their railway business, where he was responsible for Continuous Improvement, Innovation and Business Development. He also led Babcock’s tender for a £500M programme of works with Network Rail. He has recently joined ISS Labour Ltd, a dynamic and expanding supplier of rail support services, as their CEO and will be looking to draw upon the qualities and skills of Service Leavers to fill new positions within the company as it grows.
The following subject areas will be represented on the Development Board:
Countryside & Environment
Career Transition Partnership
Fishing & Country Sports
Land Based Work Experience
Military Charity Liaison
Bicton College/Rural Weeks
Professional Career Development Inc Standards & Quality as well as Work Experience
Rural Skills Training
Viticulture & Cider Making
Our Development Board is made up of subject matter experts, some of whom are associated with the process of transition from military to civilian life and others who have a wide knowledge of rural industries.