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Conifers for Colleges Live at Northumberland College
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Northumberland College's Kirkley Hall Campus has become the first to launch RFS Conifers for Colleges in the North East with planting in their Woodland and Countryside Centre.

Conifers for Colleges is our flagship education and research programme, bringing colleges and students together with specialist forest nurseries and leading forestry suppliers.

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Planting Conifers for Colleges, from left, foreground: Nick Johnson, Arboricultural Lecturer; John Monaghan, RFS North East Division Chairman; Rachel Smith and  David Wear, Programme Area Leader Plants and Environment. In the background, from left: Elizabeth Anderson. Matthew Lowry, Jack Dean and David Brewis

For Northumberland College Marcus Clinton, Principal and CEO of Northumberland College says: “We are delighted to work in partnership with the Royal Forestry Society. Conifers for Colleges is a wonderful opportunity for Northumberland College students to get involved in an innovative programme and learn about nurturing UK woodlands for future generations.

" The RFS are bringing a wealth of knowledge to our Kirkley Hall campus and students will benefit greatly from opportunities at the forefront of forestry research and change.”

The project recognises the risks that climate change, pests and diseases represent to woodlands, and the need for a wider range of tree species and a greater supply of skills. It highlights the importance of conifers to the UK forestry and timber industries while promoting research and education into alternative novel species.

 Helping with the first planting at Kirkley Hall, RFS North Eastern Division Chairman John Monaghan says:" It’s time to recognise that conifer plantations are the engine-house of the UK forestry industry which employs 40,000 people and generates some £8bn of GDP - 90% of that can be attributed to conifers. Yet we still import 80% of our timber needs, and we are still felling conifers without replacing them. With the generous support of our sponsors, Conifers for College will raise the low awareness of this important resource, and opportunity, which should be contributing far more to our national economy."

Conifers for Colleges was launched nationally on 5 November at Moulton College in Northamptonshire. Director of FC England, Ian Gambles praised the project for playing an important part in the forestry sector's drive for resilience. Full details and his talk and support for the project are available here.   

Three other colleges are also launching Conifers for Colleges this year: Plumpton College in East Sussex, Myerscough College near Preston and Coleg Gwent in Usk.