Canterbury Tales to Conifer Trees: a 500-mile journey into forestry
After the devastating effects of this winter’s storms and in a bid to restore Scotland’s woodland, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is calling on people to consider a career in forestry though their modern apprenticeship programme.
The huge clearance effort requires a bigger workforce, and so FLS is currently recruiting for a number of key apprenticeship roles, with the opportunity to learn and develop new skills.
Whether it’s the beginning of a career journey or a job change, FLS wants to hear from individuals with a passion for learning and a keen interest in forestry and conservation.
FLS currently has 40 apprentices studying and working in a variety of different roles ranging from Trees and Timber and Conservation to Accountancy. The modern apprenticeship scheme works in collaboration with colleges and universities across the country, including University Highlands and Islands.
One apprentice, Eilidh Thompson (24), began her journey into forestry in February 2021 after completing her Master’s Degree in Medieval Literature at Cambridge University. Now based over 500 miles away in Lairg, Eilidh is currently completing her SVQ Level 3 in trees and timber.
“I have always had an interest in conservation. Whilst studying for my master’s degree, I was fortunate enough to travel to Iceland on a conservation project. I left feeling inspired and curious to find out more. That’s when I found out about the Forestry and Land Scotland and made the life-changing decision to move over 500 miles north to Lairg in the Highlands.
“So far, the apprenticeship course has covered many hands-on topics, including tree planting and environmental restoration- the peatland restoration in particular has been exceptionally interesting. After Storm Arwen in December 2021, I was also part of the emergency response team helping to clear unsafe fallen trees from public sites around Lairg.”
The FLS modern apprenticeship scheme aims to broaden the skillset of its apprentices to become well-rounded professionals in the forestry industry.
“The modern apprenticeship scheme with Forestry and Land Scotland has given me the opportunity to learn new skills to apply to my future career. Looking ahead, I hope to further my skills in decision making to plan Scotland’s forests of the future.
“I have been so welcomed by the team here in Lairg and have met some great colleagues. No one day is the same during the apprenticeship, and every day I am learning more about different aspects of forestry. If you love the outdoors and are passionate about climate change, the FLS modern apprenticeship scheme might just be the next step in your career journey.”
Find out more about the FLS' modern apprenticeship programme.
Notes to editors
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.