Robert Baker, 23, a Cumbria University student originally from a small village called Wootton Wawen in central Warwickshire, is celebrating after winning an award for ‘Best Dissertation’ on his course, BSc (Hons) Forestry Management.
Rob achieved not only his BSc (Hons) in Forestry Management from Cumbria University (National School of Forestry) and winning the award, but was one of an elite number of students accepted onto Tilhill Forestry’s graduate programme this year.
In recognition of his win, Rob was presented with a specially carved wooden trophy in the shape of an acorn by Tilhill’s Forestry Director Tim Liddon along with £250.
In response to his award Rob said: “I am settling in very well at Tilhill Forestry, it is great to have started my job role and to be out in the district taking in all aspects of the business.
“Winning the award justifies the decision I took three years ago to pursue a career in forestry. Coming into the course with no level three qualifications made me unsure of how I would be able to progress but in the end I couldn’t be happier with my final results.
“Cumbria was able to give me a route into university that I didn’t think was possible. They appreciated my background and gave me an opportunity where many other universities wouldn’t. I would not be where I am now if they hadn’t taken a chance on me and for that I am extremely grateful.
“I hope now to have found a career that I will enjoy for many years to come and will continue to take every opportunity to learn and progress. I would also like to thank James Jones and Sons Ltd who generously donated time and resources to support my dissertation project.”
As part of the company’s work to strengthen links with students, Tilhill Forestry offers awards to top performing forestry students at leading universities which offer degrees in forestry related subjects. The company also runs a popular graduate placement scheme.
Tim Liddon, Tilhill’s Forestry Director explains: “We run an awards programme with a number of universities across the UK. We’re delighted to continue to support Cumbria University and recognise the hard work of students. It’s an excellent university which regularly feeds students into our graduate trainee programme. It is especially rewarding when winning graduates choose to work with Tilhill.”
Andrew Leslie, Senior Lecturer, Cumbria University said: “We much appreciate Tilhill Forestry offering a prize to the student with the best forestry dissertation.
Rob’s dissertation was entitled ‘UK Grown Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) is there a significant relationship between log acoustic velocity and C16 grade recovery?‘ The thesis was an excellent piece of work and reflected Rob’s strong academic and practical ability and also his particular interest in the commercial aspects of forestry. Rob has been a dedicated and focused student and has now gained employment as an Assistant Forest Manager at Tilhill Forestry!”
Rob has now joined Tilhill Forestry’s Huntly office as an Assistant Forest Manager in North Highland.