Tilhill Forestry, November, 2019
Last month I attended the Royal Forestry Society ‘Future Forestry Skills Day. The events aim was to promote forestry and arboriculture to students studying related subjects or those who have recently begun working in the field. The day was split between a morning of talks from industry figures and an afternoon show of exhibitors from across the forestry spectrum. I spent the afternoon on a stand representing private forestry company Tilhill Forestry, promoting the company I work for and our Graduate Development Programme. I’m a recent entry into the industry myself and previously worked in education as a Forest School leader. I have a great passion for getting people into forests in order to learn about them and consequently thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to advocate forestry as a good career choice.
I met many curious students enquiring about what Tilhill Forestry do. I was impressed by the level of their engagement, especially when competing with the neighbouring Stihl exhibit who had virtual reality chainsaws. We did have free pens, though!
Before I began studying forestry, I had little previous experience and no real connection to anyone in the industry. I remember feeling like the idea of actually working in forestry was quite abstract; I just couldn’t imagine what it might be like. I guess the elusive nature of forestry is due in part to the size of the industry relative to others in the UK – especially where I’m from in the south of England. However, now I’m on the other side of the fence, I realised that it is a growing industry and that there’s a shortage of students and graduates who’ve been trained in forestry subjects to fill job roles. In addition to this, there’s an ageing industry workforce resulting in a greater need for individuals to step in and develop to become the experienced professionals of the future.
So, how do we promote forestry to the next generation? What makes our industry an attractive prospect to those seeking an interesting and meaningful career?
Luckily for me, Tilhill Forestry provide me this blog platform to share my thoughts on, so I’m going to take the opportunity to offer some of my opinions. These are some of the things I think we should be promoting to those considering a path into the forest industry:
If you’re wondering where to go next in your career, give forestry a thought. I’d really say it’s really worth considering. There’s something for most people, there’s a chance to make a difference - and you get to go outside. What’s not to love?
See you in the woods.