Winning students: 2012 RFS Silky Fox Handsaws Award

RFS Silky Fox Handsaws Awards are being presented to 22 exceptional students at colleges around England and Wales. The Awards were introduced this year, in partnership with Silky Fox Handsaws, to recognise those students showing the most endeavour in courses with a strong practical woodland management element.

Browse the list below to view the winners and read the praise from their tutors.

 

 


Askham Bryan College

  • College: Askham Bryan College, Yorkshire
  • Name: Joel Sharp
  • Course: Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

 

Joel Sharp of Askham Bryan College

Joel Sharp becomes the first student at Askham Bryan College to win
the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) Silky Fox Handsaw Award.

What his tutor says: Askham Bryan College Arboriculture Lecturer David Butterfield: “When I first met Joel he was a self-confessed ‘bit of a lad’, … but as we delved more and more into the world of trees, something seemed to happen and Joel became hooked. His grades got better and better up to a point where he would argue a recount if he didn’t achieve the maximum!

“Joel became so interested that he secured a 10-week work placement in Sweden over the summer of 2011 where he expanded not only his knowledge and skills but also his interest and his thirst for information. In year two Joel’s grades were consistently high and the quality of his academic work had improved significantly. A changed man!”

Joel is going on to pursue a Degree in Forest Management.

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Bicton College

  • College: Bicton College, Devon
  • Name: Albert Selway
  • Course: Level 2 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

 

Albert Selway receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award

Albert Selway, left, receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from
RFS South Western Divisional Secretary Rupert Baker watched by
Senior Lecturer in Arboriculture, Nobby Clarke, and fellow forestry and arboriculture students

What his tutor says: Senior Lecturer in Arboriculture, Nobby Clarke: “Albert has always shown great skill in practicals, and has always been one of the livelier members of the group! He was particularly impressive in the 3ATC student competition where he scored one of the fastest climbing times against colleges from around the country.”

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Bridgwater College

  • College: Bridgwater College, Somerset
  • Name: David Robertson
  • Course: Level 2 Diploma in Arboriculture

 

Dave Robertson receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award

RFS Somerset and Dorset Division Chairman Elect, Ben Porter, left,
presents David Robertson with the RFS Silky Fox Handsaws award

What his tutor says: Bridgewater Programme Manager Arboriculture, Mike Cullen: “Dave has extreme dyslexia and yet somehow manages to achieve excellent result in scientific plant naming. Furthermore his work is driven by superb personal motivation, interest and determination. His tree felling and tree climbing skills are the best in the group, much to the envy of his colleagues. It’s a privilege to have him on board.”

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Capel Manor College

  • College: Capel Manor College, Middlesex
  • Name: Larne Lawrence
  • Course: Level 2 Extended Certificate in Arboriculture

Larne Lawrence receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award

Larne Lawrence, right, receives his RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from Paul Akers, Chair of the RFS London and Middlesex Division.

What his tutor says: Capel Manor College Lecturer Derek McFarland: “Larne has been a committed and active member of his group, adopting new skills and practices easily and can often be found helping others in his group who may be struggling, without being asked to do so.”

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Coleg Gwent

  • College: Coleg Gent, Wales
  • Name: Samuel Lewis
  • Course: Level 2 Diploma in work-based trees and timber (General Woodland and Forestry Tree Work)

 

Samuel Lewis of Coleg Gwent

George Johnson, left, presents Samuel Lewis with his RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award
at a meeting of the RFS SE Wales Division.

What his tutor says: Coleg Gwent Forestry Tutor Chris Knight: “Sam has become quite an entrepreneur over the last year, establishing his own forestry contracting business based, in part, on the forestry skills learnt at Usk Campus. He is currently expanding his domestic firewood business to meet the demand for sustainably sourced wood fuel and has recently taken over the maintenance contract on Lord St John of Bletso’s estate near Trellech. I am extremely pleased to see a young person succeed in being able to derive a living from the sustainable management of the Welsh countryside.”

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Coleg Llysfasi Ruthin (Deeside College)

  • College: Coleg Llysfasi Ruthin (Deeside College)
  • Name: Tomas Jones
  • Course: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

 

Tomas Jones of Coleg Llysfasi Ruthin

Tomas Jones, left, receives his RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from
Trevor Trevor, RFS North Wales Division Chairman.

What his tutor says: Coleg Llysfasi Ruthin Forestry Lecturer Phil Venables: “Tom has been an exceptional student, good at all aspects of work, and excelling in practical tasks. He has achieved certificates of competence in many of the key practical qualifications required by the industry. He has even managed to complete the course despite dislocating his shoulder at Easter.”

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Coleg Meirion Dwyfor

  • College: Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Glynllifon campus, North Wales
  • Winner: Alun Povey
  • Course: National Diploma in Countryside Management

 

Alun Povey, left, receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS North Wales Division Chairman Trevor Trevor

Alun Povey, left, receives the
RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from
RFS North Wales Division Chairman Trevor Trevor

What his tutor says: Lecturer Emyr Parry: “Alun has performed very well at Glynllifon. He has increased both his knowledge and practical experience of woodland management by following the National Diploma course at the college. We are confident that the prize of a Silky saw will be put to good use very soon.”

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East Durham College

  • College: East Durham College, Houghall, Durham
  • Winner: Thomas Stevens
  • Course: Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

 

Thomas Stevens, left, receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS North Eastern Division Secretary Hamish Jeffrey

Thomas Stevens, left, receives the
RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS North Eastern Division
Secretary Hamish Jeffrey

What his tutor says: Arboriculture Lecturer Joe Shipley: “Thomas has been a superb student during his two years with us. He has been strong both academically and practically; however, above all he has made a positive contribution to his course and to the department as a whole. Thomas has always been willing to assist others, which is a quality we try to instil in all our arboriculture students. The award is thus a recognition for his overall endeavour.”

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Hartpury College

  • College: Hartpury College, Gloucestershire
  • Name: Joseph Price-Evans
  • Course: Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Countryside Management

 

Joseph Price-Evans of Hartpury College

RFS Gloucestershire Division Committee Member Barrie Wellington, left,
presents Joseph Price-Evans with the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award

What his tutor says: Lecturer in Countryside Management, John Goolden: “Joseph has consistently stood out within his group as being an outstanding student at a practical level and having enthusiasm for the woodland management work completed on his course. Joseph has secured a full-time gamekeeping position near his home when he finishes the course this summer. The job will include woodland management, so hopefully he can put his skills to good use out in the industry.”

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Merrist Wood

  • College: Merrist Wood, Worplesdon, Surrey
  • Winner: Christopher Davies
  • Course: BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

 

Christopher Davies, left, receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS South Eastern Division Chairman Richard Coombs

Christopher Davies, left, receives the
RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS South Eastern Division
Chairman Richard Coombs

What his tutor says: Merrist Wood College Lecturers in arboriculture, Derek Hanson and Zak Walker said: “Christopher is an excellent student, very committed and enthusiastic. He totally deserves this award and we wish him every success in his future career.”

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Moulton College

  • College: Moulton College, Northamptonshire
  • Winner: Robert Stuart
  • Course: Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Countryside Management

 

Robert Stuart, left, receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS Midlands Division Chairman George West

Robert Stuart, left, receives the
RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS Midlands Division
Chairman George West

What his tutor says: Senior Lecturer Dr James Littlemore: “This is a well-earned award for Robert who has consistently shown the professionalism, enthusiasm and maturity required to make his mark in the forestry and woodland industry. He has been firmly at the heart of several woodland projects the College has undertaken in the region, and his versatile skills range from turning greenwood on a pole-lathe to individual tree assessment methods.”

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Myerscough College

  • College: Myserscough College, Lancashire
  • Name: Thomas Howison-Haworth
  • Course: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Arboriculture

 

Thomas Howison-Haworth of Mysercough College

Myerscough student Thomas Howison-Haworth, left, collects the
RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS NW Division Secretary David Brackley.

What his tutor says: Myerscough Head of Arboriculture, Andy Taffe: “Thomas has completed this course with excellent results. He has also achieved the Advanced Arborist Chainsaw Operator (Pruning Operations and Sectional Felling) together with a range of other industry linked additional qualifications over the two years studying at Myerscough.

“He is a bright, pleasant and hardworking young man who has developed his practical skills to a high standard.”

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Otley College

  • College: Otley College, Suffolk
  • Name: Samuel Alexander
  • Course: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Arboriculture

 

Samuel Alexander of Otley College

Otley College student Samuel Alexander receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award
from RFS East Anglia Division Secretary Sally Watts

What his tutor says: Otley College Arboriculture Programme Coordinator, Tom Brown: “Samuel has shown a keenness to investigate all areas of his course. Although he would be the first to admit he is not the most academically gifted student on the course, he is however one of the most diligent and committed.

“Samuel has achieved not only academic success, but has strived to improve his practical skills to an advanced standard. I am sure he will go on to be a tremendous success in whichever discipline in the forestry and arboriculture sector he decides to apply himself to.”

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Pershore College

  • College: Pershore College, Worcestershire, part of Warwickshire College
  • Name: Ben Corcoran
  • Course: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Arboriculture

 

Ben Corcoran receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award

Ben Corcoran, left, receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from
RFS Management Committee chairman Andrew Woods

What his tutor says: Arboriculture Lecturer David Gardner: “Ben stood out through his determination and commitment to achieve his qualification and increase his skills within arboriculture.”

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Plumpton College

  • College: Plumpton College, Nr Lewes, East Sussex
  • Name: Aaron Bray
  • Course: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Arboriculture

 

Aaron Bray of Plumpton College

Aaron Bray, left, is presented with the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award
by Paul Collins, Head of Department for Forestry and Arboriculture at Plumpton College

What his tutor says: Head of Department for Arboriculture and Forestry, Paul Collins: “Aaron started his course with no experience of arboriculture at all. He found many of the practical activities challenging due to having undergone spinal surgery shortly before the course started but threw himself whole heartedly into his studies.

“He is very keen and enthusiastic and will try hard at everything he is asked to do. He recently competed in two National College student tree climbing competitions and was a credit to his team and Plumpton. His attendance and commitment have been outstanding and he thoroughly deserves this award.”

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Reaseheath College

  • College: Reaseheath College, Cheshire
  • Name: John Tunstall
  • Course: City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Forestry & Arboriculture

 

John Tunstall receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award

John Tunstall: Reaseheath College’s first RFS Silky Fox
Handsaw Award winner

What his tutor says: Curriculum Manager Neville Care: “John has impressed us with his enthusiasm and willingness to help others, particularly when participating in practical sessions. I can see a successful future for him in the arboriculture industry.”

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Riseholme College

  • College: Riseholme College, Lincoln
  • Winner: Andrew Sharman
  • Course: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forestry & Arboriculture

 

Andy Sharman, left, receives the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS Notts and Lincs committee member Nigel Sardeson

Andy Sharman, left, receives the
RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from RFS Notts and Lincs
committee member Nigel Sardeson

What his tutor says: Arboriculture Subject Leader Neil Rowbottom: “Andrew left the army to start another career and joined Riseholme College to gain a qualification in trees and woodlands. As a mature student Andrew quickly got back into the world of education and achieved high grades in all his work.

“Using his wealth of practical knowledge gained from the past he approached each task with vigour and enthusiasm which in turn encouraged the younger students on the programme to try their best. On practicals, Andrew displayed his natural leadership qualities and each problem became a challenge. He has been a credit to the course and hopefully he can now put into practice what he has learnt.”

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Sparsholt College

  • College: Sparsholt College, Hampshire
  • Name: Stefan Janovsky
  • Course: City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Arboriculture

 

Stefan Janovsky of Sparsholt College

Stefan Janovsky: winner of the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award at Sparsholt College.

What his tutor says: Sparsholt Head of Arboriculture, Forestry and Horticulture, Jonathan Baker: “Stefan has won for a number of reasons – his 100% attendance and very good academic outcomes, both practically and academically. His tutors have said that he started the year with a considerable lack of self-confidence, but his confidence has grown exponentially and he has proved himself to have a very professional ‘team ethic’ while on site, helping those who are struggling.”

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Warwickshire College

  • College: Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell
  • Name: Joe Williams
  • Course: NPTC Level Three Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

 

Joe Williams of Warwickshire College

Joe Williams, left, accepts the RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award from
RFS Midlands Divisional Chairman George West

What his tutor says: Peter Beck: “Joe is an outstanding student who has developed his skills while at Warwickshire College. He has shown commitment and dedication in furthering his knowledge of arboriculture, and with the skills that he now possesses we hope he will have a successful career in arboriculture.”

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