The Diversity of Forestry

Blog Post by Lucy Callaway Assistant Forest Manager – North and Central England


Lady Bower Reservoir view on a frosty morning


No day is ever the same when you work in forestry and it’s a career that certainly keeps you on your toes. From new woodland creation planting to being involved in harvesting operations, you see it all. The diversity of tree species that we plant can range from common oak to Scots pine and challenges always arise when you are working with nature, be it drought or pests and diseases. Overcoming these challenges is what makes you become a well-rounded forest manager.

Harvested timber following an SPHN to remove infected larch trees


This job is very people oriented, meeting people from different backgrounds with their knowledge and experience is a fantastic way of learning and developing in this sector and I have learnt a huge amount in such a short space of time from the people I work with.


A diverse landscape at a managed reservoir


The diversity of the job and the opportunities that arise keeps it interesting for me. I have been able to get involved in all aspects of forestry including ecology, which is often overlooked or not a word necessarily associated with forestry. The growing Tilhill ecology team are helping to improve this by making knowledge and guidance more accessible to managers, which is vital for improving and protecting the land we manage. Forest management is not simply about trees, it is the land as a whole and it is often the small details, from finding some funky looking fungi in the autumn to the diversity of species found in a grassland in spring. We must work with the landscape to get the best results.

Grassland butterfly species spotted on site

Open glade to provide sunlight to the woodland floor, encouraging more diversity of the woodland structure.



Forestry: Day to day

Day to day jobs for forest managers will vary from region to region. Down in the midlands where I am based, I am often applying for planting and health grants for our clients which help with the costs of creating new woodlands and felling diseased trees in their woodlands. I am always continuing relationships with our contractors, ensuring the standard of work is of a high quality and checking on health and safety of the work environment. When I am not in the office, I am out and about on site be it checking on new plantations, meeting new clients or discussing upcoming forest works with our contractors. No day is the same!

New woodland creation planting on a frosty site during planting season