Helping save endangered forests

Alistair and Jenny Hanson present the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with the special edition clarinet.
Alistair and Jenny Hanson present the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with the special edition clarinet.

When former Whitcliffe Mount pupil Alastair Hanson set up his music business, he looked to the Prince’s Trust for support.

Now, almost a quarter of a century later, Alastair got the chance to say a personal thank you to Prince Charles – by presenting him with a special edition clarinet.

Alastair, who runs Hanson Music with his wife Jenny, met the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall at an event organised by Size of Wales – a campaign group which aims to save an area of rainforest the size of Wales.

The group has supported the Mpingo African Blackwood project which allowed Hanson Music to produce the first ever FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved clarinet. Alastair then presented a special edition T7 FSC clarinet to the Prince to thank him for his support setting up the business 23 years ago.

Alastair began playing in a local band at the age of four. After finishing his studies of music and instrument technology in 1989 he began his first company in Cleckheaton and went on to work in co-operation with instrument manufacturers all around the world.

Although he still finds time to play professionally, most of his time is devoted to instrument making and he is recognised by even the largest manufacturers as one of the foremost instrument designers in the world.

His leading role in initiatives for the music industry to conserve endangered forests through sustainable and socially equitable harvesting led to him being presented with a special award for outstanding contribution by the FSC. His expertise and experience in instrument design and production generates international demand for his services as a consultant within the industry. Hanson Music is now based in Marsden.