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£50,000 boost for Future Foresters from The Prince's Countryside Fund
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The Royal Forestry Society's (RFS) unique Future Foresters programme is to receive a £50,000 grant over three years from The Prince's Countryside Fund to help it reach out and inspire young people considering a career in forestry and woodland management.

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Welcoming today's news, RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd said: "The grant recognises our aim to increase the profile of forestry as a worthwhile and accessible career, which will strengthen the pipeline of skills into the sector.

"We hope to help create a new woodland culture and to bring more woodlands into meaningful management for timber products, biodiversity, leisure and environmental benefits."

Future Foresters is inspiring young people to enter forest industries, supporting them to gain skills, qualifications and experience, and find work.

 It is developing:

  • meaningful paid intern placements
  • bursaries to help those from low income families to gain work experience
  • a Careers Portal which it will host for the forestry sector
  • a programme of outreach activities, talks and events for secondary schools and colleges
  • links between students and landowners
  • supporting research at colleges
  • distance learning and other qualifications

Simon Lloyd adds: " Forestry has never had a higher profile - from wood energy through ‘Grand Design’ wood framed buildings to climate change. Trees and forestry are in the news and yet lack of forestry skills and public awareness remains one of the sector's major challenges.

"At one extreme, expert foresters are building their skills and knowledge to make the crucial judgements to start adapting our forests to a future 50, 100 years ahead. At the other is the need to teach basic skills to the literally thousands of owners of all those small, neglected woodlands. 

"Future foresters is working to make sure that we have the skills and the knowledge to help the nation's woodlands thrive for future generations."