The Next Generation

A Tilhill Forestry Blog by Assistant Forest Manager Hannah Richardson

At the ripe old age of 23, I am hopefully at the beginning of my career in forestry and, I guess you could say, part of the future of the forest industry.

Within Tilhill Forestry we are lucky to have a vast range of ages and experience to draw on for training and decision making. However, it is still vastly important to encourage more young people to fulfil a range of roles within the industry to ensure we can meet the ever-increasing government targets of afforestation and continuing to manage current assets.

Despite being a younger, less experienced member of the industry, my opinion (alongside other Tilhill Forestry graduates) was asked for at a recent discussion about the draft Scottish Forestry Strategy.

The event took place at SRUC Barony College and brought together people from various areas of the land management industry including; foresters, farmers, estate managers and students. The aim of the session was to offer thoughts and opinions on the new aims of the strategy, from the point of view of the people who will be aspiring to these targets.

Being in a room full of young, enthusiastic and like-minded people was refreshing and discussions centred around the issues we will face in the future. Including climate change, contractor resource and continuing sustainable forest management. We also agreed on the need to educate the public and students interested in forestry about the various aspects and challenges of managing a forest environment.

With the increase in planting that is going to be required to meet government targets of afforestation, will come the increased need for contractors, supervisors, managers etc. This means broaching the issue as soon as possible to ensure we have trained and experienced industry members ready to take on the challenge.

Alongside this, the unpredictable climate and the rising issue of climate change will bring new challenges to the industry, forcing us to brainstorm ideas now on how to combat the unpredictability of weather systems and species selection to suit these conditions.

Tilhill Forestry are great at providing opportunities for young people to find out about the industry and what it is we do in our day to day work. From simply posting our activities on social media, to launching the diploma, visiting shows and advertising the graduate scheme through universities. Tilhill are pushing forward in training and hiring young adults to nurture as part of the company and its future.

Keeping up the momentum on this, myself, Alexander and my dog Isla attended a careers fair at the university we both used to attend. It was a very successful day with a continual flow of students coming to discuss a career in forestry and learn more about what it means to be an assistant Forest Manager on the graduate scheme. This is just one of many events aimed at engaging with soon-to-be graduates in order to bring opportunities to educate them on forestry.

If you fancy joining myself and the other graduates at Tilhill Forestry then the graduate scheme for 2019 is open and is running until February 2019. In six months time you too could be working for this fab company, discovering new places, continuing your learning and joining the Tilhill Forestry family.

It’s a journey you don’t want to miss.