Tilhill Forestry, September, 2020

Fortunate Foresters

A Blog by Assistant Forest Manager, North Highland

As I wind my way round the northernmost tips of the Scottish mainland in unprecedented 25 degree sunshine, I can’t help but think just how fortunate foresters are to have a job that takes them to some of the most beautiful spots the UK has to offer. 

Having navigated a 'pandemic’ move to Inverness since my last blog appearance, I now find myself working a patch between Skye and Caithness from a new hub in the North Highlands. The steady flow of post-lockdown tourist traffic is a constant reminder of just how special this area is, and it is little surprise that the North Coast 500 has quickly replaced short haul escapes to Europe. All too easy then to become frustrated when you get stuck behind the twelfth campervan of the day on your way between sites? Initially yes, but take a deep breath, look at the phenomenal setting you’re driving through and suddenly the five minutes I might have saved on clear roads becomes more trivial than the argument being had about music choice in the vehicle in front.   

A quick comparison of the Tilhill area offices list and UK National Parks tells me that I’m not the only one enjoying some fantastic doorstep surroundings. Whether its driving to a site or walking in the woods as part of our day to day tasks, its easy to take these surroundings for granted, particularly when deadlines are looming and the pressure is on to make the most of each mile. However, as we sail towards six months of restricted living, it is this release that has perhaps become the most important, not to mention, most enjoyable, part of the job. I’m certain that being able to head straight out the door to spend a day in the countryside is something most occupations would have given a right arm for over the past few months.  

With this in mind, I’ll continue to smile when I see folks in front, pootling along, pointing at the next best view and take solace in the fact I only have myself to argue with about the music choice and that I am privileged enough to see the view every day as part of my job! 

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