Carving out a career in forestry

Back in the Autumn, we welcomed  Sarah Parker and Jack Richardson to our forestry operations teams in mid Wales,  covering Aberystwyth across the Cambrian Mountains and Brecon Beacons

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.

Here they tell us what their experience has been like so far and what advice they would give to those looking to pursue a career on forestry:

Sarah Parker

My role within the NRW Forest Operations team is Technical Support. This involves overseeing operations (such as restocking and harvesting) to ensure they’re carried out in a safe and environmentally sustainable way.

I wanted to work for NRW because I believe it’s important that we manage our resources sustainably for future generations to enjoy. I also love being outdoors and since the majority of my work will be out on sites, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity for me!

In my first few months I’ve mostly spent my time shadowing, getting to know the areas I’m working in and learning as much as I could about my new role. I’ve still got a few courses and some training to do before I’m fully independent but I’m looking forward supervising some sites of my own in the new year. My advice to anyone thinking about pursuing a career in forestry is to go for it. Everyone’s been so friendly and helpful and you’ll get to work in some really beautiful places!

Jack Richardson

I’ve recently completed a placement year with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), working alongside both forest operations and land management covering the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Just as this position was drawing to a close, I was fortunate in securing a technical support role based around Aberystwyth and Machynlleth.  This role involves supervising a whole range of different forestry operations that take place on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate, from planting and establishing new and existing woodlands, through to harvesting and processing the various different products that our forests provide.

To enable me to perform my role to the best of my ability, I’ve been provided with countless training and development opportunities that cover a range of disciplines, as well as being support in pursuing a chartership through the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) to further develop my knowledge.

I couldn’t recommend forestry enough as a new path for anyone considering changing their career.  Personally, I find that managing forests and woodlands in an exceptionally rewarding job, allowing  me to play my part in the sustainable management of one of Wales’ natural resources, while protecting them for future generations.

Do you think you have what it takes to join #TeamNRW?

Our Forestry teams in south and mid Wales currently have a fantastic opportunity available and are offering four paid placements next year for students who are undertaking a mid-year placement as part of their forestry or land management degree from a higher educational institution

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

Applications close January 31.

If you have any questions about the placements, please get in touch :

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