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Awards for forestry students in Wales
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Award winners: Peter Bottoms (on behalf of his son Jack), with Sam Brown and David Purnell. Photo: Les Starling.

Date Issued: 07 August 2011


Three young foresters have been presented with awards by the Royal Forestry Society’s (RFS) North Wales Division for their ‘inspirational’ university and college work. Sam Brown, Jack Bottoms and David Purnell all achieved noteworthy results in their chosen specialisms.

Sam Brown was nominated for the 2011 RFS Bangor Bursary after he received the highest mark this year for a forestry project at Bangor University. Sam, originally from Petworth, West Sussex, who graduates this month (July) with an upper second class honours degree in forestry, had studied the effect of brash removal on the performance of Sitka spruce planted on restock sites at Coed Cefn Llwyd, near Bala.

The RFS Prize for the Best Forestry Student at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, Glynllifon, went to Jack Bottoms from Aberaeron and Esgair Estate, Machynlleth. Jack has completed his National Diploma in countryside management as well as an NVQ Level 2 in forestry, and practical certificates including chainsaw, tree climbing, and pesticide spraying.

This year’s winner of the RFS Shield at Coleg Llysfasi was David Purnell of Hawarden, Deeside, Assistant Forester on Hawarden Estate, who is graduating with a distinction in HND in woodland management and arboriculture. David had previously achieved distinction in the Level 2 Certificate in arboriculture at Llysfasi, and has passed many of the essential NPTC certificates of competence.

RFS North Wales divisional chairman Trevor Trevor said: “We have a great tradition of forestry and woodland management throughout Wales, and particularly in North Wales, and we hope that these young people will be inspired by their early experiences and their college qualifications to continue in careers which help safeguard the wellbeing of some of the nation’s most important heritage – our woodlands.”

The RFS North Wales Division hosts a number of woodland visits every year. In October they will be looking at Better Woodlands for Wales as part of a visit to the Bryn Derwen Estate at Llanfyllin and the Bron Hyddon Estate at Llansantffaid. In November they are hosting an evening talk on ‘Trees and Woodlands in a Changing World’.