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Training Courses


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PLEASE NOTE: The 2016 programme has been delivered. Information about the 2017 programme will appear here shortly. 

In 2016, the Royal Forestry Society launched an exciting new series of one-day training courses on trees and woodland management designed to meet the needs of new and novice woodland owners, and others who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in many aspects of forestry.

Course titles for 2016 included:

Each course has clear learning objectives and will include a mixture of lectures and practical activities. Locations have been selected where the principles being explained can be demonstrated in the forest. Each course lasts approximately 6 hours.

Small group sizes will make it possible for the learning to be informal and personal, and highly rewarding.

Our team of instructors are all acknowledged experts in their fields and dedicated to forestry education. Their profiles are here.



RFS Members - £55;  Non-members - £65 

Places on all courses are limited on all courses and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. We advise early registration.  

Further details and information can be obtained by following the links to a dedicated Eventbrite registration page for each course. This includes a secure online system for payment of course fees. Terms and conditions apply.



Course 1:  Essential guide to caring for your wood

Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Instructor: Professor Julian Evans OBE FICFor    

Location: Ashley Green and RFS Hockeridge Wood, near Berkhamsted, Bucks

About: This short course provides an overview of the key considerations and issues when caring for a woodland. It serves as an excellent introduction for those who are new to woodland ownership or interested in the practical aspects of caring for a woodland. The course will cover some of the key concepts of forestry and conservation, and include a guided tour of the RFS Hockeridge Wood to view stands of different species, various silvicultural treatments, and to consider how best to balance forestry and conservation objectives.  

Meet the Instructor: here

Note: The recommended reading for this course is Julian's book 'Getting Started in Your Own Wood', available at a special discounted price from the RFS Shop, here

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Course 2: Getting to grips with conifer identification

Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Instructor: Matt Parratt

Location: Lynford Arboretum, Thetford Forest, Norfolk

About: This short course provides the perfect introduction to conifer species. If you are not sure how to separate your pines from spruces, or firs from cedars, this is the perfect introduction for you. The course will take you through the basics of tree classification and identification, with lots of handy tips that help you distinguish the main groups and species. Along the way there will be practical information about the most important species, as well as a few fascinating "alternative" species. The day will start with a classroom session at Thetford Forest and then move outdoors to the Lynford Arboretum, where many common and less familar species can be observed. Lynford Arboretum is noted for its fine collection of conifers, with more than 50 specimens recgonised as "champions" for their species in the UK.  

Meet the Instructor: here

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Course 3: Essentials for measuring your trees and woods

Date: Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Instructor: Mike Jones MICFor

Location:  Ashley Green and RFS Hockeridge Wood, near Berkhamsted, Bucks       

About: This short course equips you with the knowledge and skill to complete basic woodland measurements that are useful for guiding future activities in a wood. The course will explain both the principles and how they can be applied, as well as providing time to practice taking measurements on trees and in the woods. Included will be basic tree measurements and survey techniques to assess many aspects of a woodland. Being familiar with the essentials of woodland measurements opens up all kinds of opportunities for creating woodland plans, monitoring change in a woodland through time, establishing new habitats and enjoying your wood.  

Meet the Instructor: here

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Course 4: Grading and measuring your timber

Date: Wednesday, 12 October 2016 

Instructor: Gavin Munro 

Location: Lowther Castle and Estate, near Penrith, Cumbria.

About: This is an excellent introduction for anyone interested in learning more about timber quality and grading. The course covers the basics of wood anatomy and the growth of high quality timber trees. Special features, such as ripple grain in sycamore, will be explained, as well as the various defects and types of decay that can influence wood quality. The course therefore provides useful information for anyone who is planning to harvest or who wants to improve the timber quality of their woodland. The course starts with an indoor session and then moves out onto the estate to look at examples of standing trees with various features of note. Example logs will be presented for practical exercises on grading and evaluation. This is a hands-on introduction to the fascinating world of wood and the traditions of timber grading.  

Meet the Instructor: here

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Note: This course forms part of the national programme of events taking places during Grown in Britain Week, 10-16 October 2016. The Royal Forestry Society is a supporter of Grown in Britain, which aims to increase the supply of British timber destined for use by local people and businesses. 

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