Jack Morris Wilson: Growing Our People

This month, Tilhill Forestry will feature our staff with the ‘Growing Our People’ theme.

Read Tilhill Forestry’s Q&A with North and Central England Assistant Forest Manager Jack Morris Wilson.

Jack graduated in forestry from Bangor University. During university he worked as a Forest Surveyor across Wales and the Scottish Borders carrying out commercial surveys for thinning, clear-fells and beat ups. He started working at Tilhill Forestry in the summer of 2018 assisting the Senior Forest Managers in the day to day running of our Midlands office.

What do you do? Tell us about your typical day?

I have two typical days:

Version one is in the office. This involves the paperwork and systems- driven work such as applying for grants and felling licences and creating maps. All of this means I am assisting the Senior Forest Managers and Harvesting Managers within the region.

Version two is out on site, trying to leave as early as possible to miss the traffic. I’m normally on site to do Assurance Management System (AMS) inspections and to make sure the planting is going according to plan. I’m also often on site to get measurements of timber in order to give accurate tonnage to my senior managers so we know how much timber is in the woodland.

How did you get into forestry?

I got into forestry in high school. I was doing a case study in Geography on the bark beetle in the United States. Through this study I found that woodlands are anthropogenically managed for the best economic, environmental and social returns, this led me to continue my education in this field.

What do you like the most about working in this industry?

The thing I like most about working in forestry is that every day is different. One day I could be in Anglia and Chilterns helping with a Ministry of Defence beat up. Another day I can be in the office completing a Felling Licence Application (FLA) followed by a day in the Peak District checking fence lines.

Why did you decide to work for Tilhill Forestry?

I decided to work for Tilhill Forestry as I had previously been contracted by the Company as a surveyor in Wales. Seeing for myself how their woodlands were managed made me want to work here. Tilhill Forestry also has the best graduate scheme for Forest Managers.

What do you like most about the Company?

I don’t know if it’s the Company, or just my Region. But we all get on. If I’m ever stuck, I know I’ve got a couple of dozen people who will help me as much as they can. From admin to harvesting we act as a cohesive team.

How do you feel Tilhill Forestry contributes to its employees’ professional development?

Since starting in 2018 at Tilhill Forestry, I’ve been encouraged to attend multiple training opportunities. I’ve also been supported by the Company in being given time to learn from the varied training resources of The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) and The Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA).

What sorts of changes are occurring in your occupation?

There are some gradual changes I am experiencing resulting in me becoming more and more independent and less reliant on my senior managers over time. Some changes are faster though with the adoption of better and more portable IT systems.

How does a person progress in your field?

To progress in my field, find an older and wiser forester and buy them a pint and they will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know in forestry.

What is your advice to anyone wishing to pursue forestry as a career?

My advice to anyone starting in this career is: ‘Do not to be afraid to get your hands dirty.’


The deadline for Tilhill Forestry’s Graduate Programme is February 28th 2020.