The Little Things in Forestry 

A blog by Paige Brown, Tilhill Assistant Forest Manager in North Scotland

Before I began with Tilhill just over a year ago, I had no idea how much I would enjoy forestry as a career. I obviously have a passion for trees and the environment, but in the short space of a year, I came to realise it isn’t just the day-to-day tasks, the driving to site, the meetings with contractors, the writing of forest plans and designing woodland creations that I enjoy about the job.

A Passion for Forestry

The true passion for forestry comes in all the little things, the things we don’t always notice, or don’t always appreciate, like watching the tiny changes in leaf colour during the autumn months, until the trees are bare, and the ground is littered with a carpet of reds, oranges, and browns. Seeing the pink larch buds come out at the beginning of spring, vibrant and stark against the fresh green, until they begin to turn into cones.

That first day after a long winter when you can walk on site with a T-shirt on as the sun gets a little warmer, and you find yourself surrounded by butterflies and bees making their return for summer. It comes when you’re standing exhausted after a day in the wind and the rain, soaked through after one too many stumbles into unexpected drains and just as you’re about to head home, the clouds clear and the landscape around you comes into full view. It’s quite something to be getting paid to experience the views so many travel miles across the country to see. It’s in the conversations with contractors that turn into catch ups and how’s things, and a laugh shared every so often. It comes when you realise your worry over trees was wasted, the trees are doing just fine, and will continue to do so as they grow from small little wobbly stems, into strong, upright trees. It’s in the moments when you realise you no longer need to phone your manager to ask how to do something, you just know. It’s found in the excitement of knowing that you will grow and develop as a Forest Manager alongside the trees planted in the ground, taking it season by season.  

All the Little Things

All these little things are easy to forget when you become overloaded with the stress of the job or the stress of providing for families and building a life out-with the work. We become so weighed down in the details and forget why we started this career in the first place. I’m sure we all have different reasons but isn’t it nice just knowing that unlike many in this world, going outside and being amongst the trees and up the hills and along the riverbanks is in our job description.


Changing Seasons

Admittedly, the enjoyment comes and goes with the seasons, dry socks are quite the rarity in the winter months. But whatever the season and whatever the reason, when you have a day where you’re stuck in the office and the list of tasks you need to do seems never ending (isn’t it amazing that even when you tick something off, the list doesn’t seem to get any shorter?), try and remember the little things that make the job worth it. When we spend so much of our life at work, it’s important we appreciate the smallest of pleasures to make the days a little bit better. Make sure you do something for you.