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RFS - Silky Fox Handsaw Award


Todd Wynn Eyton

 The RFS Silky Fox Handsaw Award rewards students who have stood out on practical forestry and arboriculture courses as they start their careers. The award is given for the best student or the student showing most endeavour as they gain practical hands-on skills in tree and woodland care.


"This award helps to promote the vital combination of skills needed to succeed in the arboriculture industry."

Myerscough College.


The prize is a Gomtaro Silky Handsaw and a year’s membership to the RFS.

The initiative recognises the increasing value of further education (FE) training programmes in forestry and arboriculture across the UK in providing access to the industry. FE training is consistently delivering the essential practical and theoretical skills needed to launch careers in tree care and woodland management, with many colleges boasting excellent employment rates.

The RFS is delighted to be working in partnership with Silky Fox Handsaws for this special initiative.



2019 Winners 


Coleg Cambria:

James Flint, City and Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Land and Wildlife.

James Flint Silky Saw Abc 3294A

Photo courtesy of Les Starling.

James shines in the practical elements of his course. He is very enthusiastic; whether cutting gorse on the hillside in mid-winter or knee deep in soft mud clearing out ditches, he approaches it all with a positive can-do attitude.

James is methodical and focussed paying close attention to detail, the quality of his work and the result, which is always clean, tidy and professional.

James works extremely well in a small team, but his attitude and commitment has set him apart from the rest of his course which will serve him well in the future.












Joseph Maguire, City and Guilds Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture.

Joseph Maguire Silky Saw Abc 3297A Ceopped

Photo courtesy of Les Starling

Joe is enthusiastic and always up to the challenge, particularly in his practical work where he has a good awareness of safety issues and always aims to give his best at all he does.

Joe is helpful, enthusiastic and always ready to try any new challenges. He likes nothing more than getting to grips with new techniques, equipment and machinery.

Joe is interested in vintage tractors and chainsaws and has a mind for the technical details. Joe has developed good control and operation of the tractors and continues to improve his tree climbing and pruning abilities.






Coleg Meirion Dwyfor:

Harry Tustin, Level 3 Countryside Management/Forestry.

Harry Tustin Silky Saw Abc 3291A Cropped

Photo courtesy of Les Starling 

Harry has been nominated for this award for his hard work, motivation and enthusiasm during practical lessons.

As part of the course Harry carried out six weeks work experience with the Pensychnant nature reserve at Conwy. Harry also took part in the UK Loggers training day where he had to undertake precision cuts with a chainsaw. Harry also gained certificates in competency in chainsaw operations, first aid and woodchipper operation.





 Josh Roberts, Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment.

 Josh Roberts Silky Saw Abc 3288A Cropped

Photo courtesy of Les Starling

Josh's work on the Level 2 Countryside and Environment Diploma has been very thorough.

He has shown a great attitude towards all aspects of the course, both when outside on the practical tasks and in the classroom. The practical tasks completed include cutting small trees, brashing, tree planting, hedge laying, fencing and dry-stone walling.

Josh has completed these tasks with confidence and with a willingness to learn and do as well as he can. Josh has also excelled in the classroom and achieved a Distinction* overall grade for the course.



 Hadlow College:

Ryan Herrington, Level 3 Extended Diploma Countryside Management.

Ryan Herrington Cropped 

Ryan is a good all-round student and a great team player. Ryan is always helping others to develop their skills. 

In this academic year, Ryan suffered a foot injury for several weeks, but still insisted on attending practical sessions on and off site, doing whatever he could to help. 

Ryan is particularly interested in rural crafts and as well as his college studies, has taken several other short courses in green woodworking and willow weaving.




Hereford and Ludlow College:

Jordan Austin, Arborist Standard, Level 2.

Jordan Austin Cropped 

Jordan has worked extremely hard since he began the apprenticeship with us in January 2018 and has shown great improvement in this time.

Jordan’s behaviour in college and his attitude towards his theory/written work have come on leaps and bounds throughout his time with us. He is always amongst the first to finish his written assignments and is continuously engaged with the subjects covered in class.


Joseph Page, Level 2 Forestry and Arboriculture. 

 Joe Page Cropped  

Joseph came to the forestry course late in the year, having transferred from Agriculture Level 2.

Since joining the course, he has excelled in the practical elements, becoming proficient in chainsaw cross cutting and maintenance. Joseph shows enthusiasm and dedication to these elements of college, working hard in the woods or out in the yard stacking timber. In all areas of his work Joseph takes pride in ensuring his work is carried out to a high standard.

Since we have started looking at felling, he has grasped the theory quickly and works hard to get a good directional fell. 

Joseph wishes to pursue a career in forestry and arboriculture, and I believe that he will be an asset to the industry.




Moulton College:

Daniel Bland, ECAR Level Subsidiary Diploma in Arboriculture.

Dan Bland Cropped   


Daniel displays a hard-working attitude towards his practical sessions and assignments. He is always the first to offer help to the less experienced students with his group.

When climbing Daniel always follows instructions and has an obvious talent and ability.

Every day he attends lessons with a positive attitude towards the day and with a smile on his face.




Myerscough College:

Jack Priestley, Level 3 Arboriculture Technical Certificate.

 Jack Priestley L3 Arb

Jack is due to enter the industry following the successful completion of this year and will look to apply for positions in the industry taking him further afield after a successful year working with a local firm.

Jack has remained a dedicated student striving for excellence over the last 2 years of study and will continue this into the workplace.  His grades have improved across the board and he has continued to develop his practical skills to industry standards and beyond, showing deft skills with climbing and chainsaw operation.

Jack has matured into a student who will no doubt go far in the industry.



Kyle Stewart, Level 2 Arboriculture Technical Certificate.

Kyle was new to arboriculture as he began his training at Myerscough, however he quickly established himself as a dedicated and thoughtful student.

Kyle applied himself to all undertakings with professionalism and an enquiring mind. He has succeeded in obtaining all his NPTC tickets this year and gained top marks throughout his formal qualification.

Kyle's grades have been consistently the top of his class and he has continued to develop his practical skills to industry standards and beyond, showing deft skills with climbing and chainsaw operation.

Kyle is set for a bright future in the industry.



 Northumberland College:

Matthew Robson, Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture.

Matthew Robson Cropped With Hugh Bence 

Matthew demonstrated diligence and commitment throughout the course. His felling and chainsaw use were consistently of a high standard. Assignments were well researched and thorough, and he consistently provide support and help to younger members of the class.

Matthew's award was presented by North Eastern Division Hon. Secretary Hugh Bence.




Plumpton College: 

Oliver And Billy Cropped 

Oliver Vincent, Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture.

Oliver has excelled throughout his time at Plumpton, he has gone from strength to strength in all aspects for the course. Oliver always showed a special interest in forestry skills, woodland management and the forestry machinery side of the course. He is now competent in using all of our machinery which includes Valtra and Botex.


William Smith, Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture.

Billy has been at Plumpton for the past two years. When he joined the course, his main interest was the arboriculture side but over time this has shifted to woodland management and forestry.

Billy was encouraged to apply for a woodland management job, the owner of the woodland was happy to offer Billy the job due to his enthusiasm.

Billy has excelled in all aspects of practical woodland management and loves to see the wildlife benefits of his work.

Sparsholt College:

Samantha Kehoe, Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture

 Sam Kehoe


Sam is an extremely hard-working individual who has excelled in her theoretical studies across all topic areas. She has also consistently pushed and challenged herself in her practical studies demonstrating real determination and a real passion for all the tasks that she has undertaken.

Sam has been a pleasure to teach in both theory and practical sessions and is always keen and willing to learn no matter what the task, topic or weather.




Capel Manor College:

Sarita Fenton, Arboriculture and Forestry Diploma.

Sarita has shown a big step in becoming a very good arborist, she has become the best climber in her group. 

Sarita has taken on many challenges this year and has accomplished them all.