We’re looking for our next Forestry students – could it be you?

Back in September, we welcomed Lamorna Richards, Jack Richardson, Fraser Gilchrist and Emyr Parker to #TeamNRW in our forestry and land management teams as part of a year’s paid placement to help them gain practical and hands on experience in managing our forests and woodlands in Wales.

Our teams look after an incredible 123, 000 ha of land on behalf of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate and cover everything from harvesting operations and tree planting, to recreation infrastructure and community liaison work.

In this two-part blog, we caught up with Lamorna and Jack from Bangor University who tell us what their placement experience has been like so far, what opportunities they’ve had and what it’s like working for #TeamNRW:

Lamorna Richards

"So far, on my placement with NRW, I’ve been shadowing different team members across a huge range of site visits, from a skyline clear fell, to waterfalls, to a sheep gather in the woods! Everyone has been really approachable and enthusiastic to share their knowledge. I’ve also been given my own responsibilities of supervising both a planting and harvesting site, setting up a fencing contract and planning a project to map veteran trees. Managing my own sites has helped me to develop professional forest management skills through working with different contractors.

My confidence in using GIS has really increased and I’ve already had opportunities to receive certification in courses such as pesticide spraying and forestry first aid training. I’d really encourage anyone considering applying for this placement to go for it. I’m only a few months in and I’ve gained so much valuable experience; plus, you can’t ever complain about the scenery when driving to work through the Brecon Beacons!"

Jack Richardson

"I have largely been shadowing team members across my area and learning a range of disciplines in both forest operations and land management. I’m typically out on site 3 – 4 days per week managing anything from invasive species on PAWS sites, to supervising planting sites. Aside from operational duties, I’m also involved in several projects that range from cataloguing the contents of a recently established arboretum, to locating veteran and ancient trees on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate to protect them during future operations.

This opportunity has refocussed my love of being outdoors and I’m still in awe that I get to spend most of my time working outside in beautiful Wales! Professionally, I have made the most of the networking opportunities that a placement with NRW can bring, as well as being encouraged to focus on continued professional development inside out and outside of the organisation. I have also gained industry wide qualifications that are essential to work in most roles found within the forestry sector on top of embracing the values of becoming a public servant.

The placement has given me an all-round appreciation of working life within forestry sector and the many different types of positions and specialist roles that are available - I have learned a huge variety of skills ranging from site management to tree safety inspections and ash dieback surveys alongside many more."

Could you be our next student placement?

We’re delighted to be able to offer the paid placement opportunities with our forestry and land management teams again this September.

There are four opportunities available, so if you’re studying for a career in forestry or land management and think you have what it takes to join #TeamNRW we’d love to hear from you.

You can find out more about the placements and view the application form over on our website.

Read our blog with our Senior Officers in Forest Operations who share what they’re looking for in applicants and their best piece of advice on building a career in forestry.

Applications close January 31.

If you have any questions about the placements please get in touch : Michael.cresswell@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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