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Collaboration creates opportunity for forestry graduate
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The government’s targets for tree planting are ambitious and the strategic importance of woodland and forest management, the use of the best quality planting stock and engaging young foresters in the sector are becoming ever more critical.

James Cryer
James Cryer: This position provides a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of life as a modern forest manager

Tree improvement charity Future Trees Trust have recognised this and, with funding from the Patsy Wood Trust and working with the Royal Forestry Society, are collaborating to deliver the Patsy Wood Scholarship.

The Scholarship was launched last year to provide a key career stepping stone for new entrants into the forestry sector and the first position was awarded to Jonas Brandl, a graduate of Bangor Universities MSc in Agroforestry.

The second Patsy Wood Scholar is James Cryer, who will be working with independent forestry consultant William Hamer working mainly in Hampshire and Berkshire. James will be undertaking a range of forestry activities to provide him with a broad experience on which to build his forestry career. These will include all aspects of advising forest owners, preparing management plans, organizing contractors and marking, measuring and selling timber as well as plantation establishment and maintenance.

The post also comes with specialist CPD training with the RFS and through Future Tree Trust, particularly looking at the critical role of forest genetic resources in tree improvement, sound seed sourcing and planning future plant selections to deliver resilient plantations. 

 James Cryer, Patsy Wood Scholar, says: “I am thrilled to have been offered the position of Patsy Wood Scholar. It is promising to see that despite the current pandemic the forestry sector remains strong and I feel privileged to be able to continue learning my craft. This position provides a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of life as a modern forest manager and I am fortunate to be working under an experienced professional in William.

"My first month has seen me learn about the wood fuel business, ancient woodland surveys, timber harvesting and measurement to name a few. Additionally, I will be learning from Dr Jo Clark at Future Trees Trust acquiring knowledge of forest genetic resources – an application of forestry that will become increasingly important, as future foresters are presented with novel management challenges that require productive and resilient planting stock. The programme also offers a generous subsidy for further training and professional development, introducing various skills I will use throughout my career.”

Tim Rowland, CEO at Future Trees Trust, says: “Future Trees Trust is delighted to be able to continue supporting this role, using the generous funding we received from the Patsy Wood Trust. Jonas’s scholarship was a great success, despite the restrictions placed on him by the Covid pandemic. It’s really important to us that young foresters are encouraged and helped early in their careers to understand the importance of tree improvement as well as all the other aspects of forest management and silviculture.”   

Simon Lloyd, CEO at the RFS, says: “We congratulate James on his appointment and wish him every success. The RFS is pleased to be able to support this excellent scholarship programme to nurture talent in response to a national need.”

William Hamer says:“I have been delighted to welcome James to my practice; he is already proving a valuable team member and is picking up skills and knowledge on a daily basis.  There is enormous scope for good forest managers to improve the care of our woodlands in this part of England and I am pleased to be playing a small part in introducing the next generation of foresters and helping them acquire the skills and knowledge they need to carry forward this important work”.