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Man in harness demonstrating rope work to another man, with a forest forwarder parked in the background

School pupils and members of the public enjoyed two open days recently that highlighted the range of careers and activities available in Scotland’s forests.

Pupils from Aboyne Academy, Grantown Grammar, Inverness High School,  Kingussie and Millburn Academy took part in a range of workshops and craft sessions and watched demonstrations that included tree-climbing, green woodworking, dendrochronology activities and making bug hotels.

Learning in the forest

The events were organised by the Scottish School of Forestry at Inverness College UHI and the Forest Enterprise Scotland team at Smithton as part of the ongoing ‘Culloden Forest Partnership’.

The partnership aims to promote Culloden forest as an attractive and useful resource that will benefit the education, health and wellbeing of local people

Doug Mitchell, Planning Manager for Inverness, Ross & Skye Forest District, said: “Part of our aim is to encourage people to use Culloden wood as a ‘stepping stone’ towards other forest visits – or maybe even a forestry related career.

“The open days had a wide range of activities that really captivated people and opened their eyes to the possibilities: Forestry machine demonstrations, tree-hunt trails, moth and insect identification and even mini ‘chainsaw workshops’.

“It was a great couple of days that everyone seemed to enjoy…despite the rain!”

 new duffy winch extracting large logedited

Everyone taking part also had the chance to hear from the local FCS Conservancy team and learn about the work they do, and find out all about apiary from the Inverness Beekeepers.

Elizabeth Barron-Majerik from the School added:

The success of the open days was very encouraging for us because we’re intent on making more and more people aware of forestry careers.

Forestry is a key sector in Scotland’s rural economy and drawing more people to learn about and investigate the options for working in the sector will help ensure that forestry continues to be an economic driver well into the future.

To further that aim, we’re working with Skills Development Scotland to set up a forestry ambassador scheme."