From lecture theatre to forest management

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12 JULY 2010NEWS RELEASE No: 13802

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A Physical Geography student from the University of Glamorgan is putting her learning into practice on a work placement with Forestry Commission Wales thanks to a sponsorship scheme, known as Amnawdd.

Gwenan Hughes from Llanafan, Ceredigion has joined Area Manager, Tony Ellis, to find out how woodlands in Ceredigion are managed by Forestry Commission Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.

She has spent much of her five week placement outdoors learning more about how the public woodlands are looked after. In particular, she has observed how trees are harvested for timber at various sites and compared the different methods used to plant and look after young trees.

Tony also highlighted how certain parts of a forest manager’s role are desk-based and Gwenan has helped with generating tenders and compiling digital maps of woodlands.

Gwenan’s placement with Forestry Commission Wales is part of the Amnawdd scheme which is co-ordinated by a partnership between the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and Environment Agency Wales.

The aim of this scheme is to increase the number of Welsh-speakers working in environmental fields.

Amnawdd gives £1000 in sponsorship to students who are following an environment related course at a Welsh university and who are studying at least 40 credits through the medium of Welsh.

Students are also guaranteed a suitable work placement for which they receive a bursary of £500 to help with the costs of carrying it out.

Trefor Owen, Director of Forestry Commission Wales, said, "We are pleased to support the Amnawdd scheme and we were delighted to welcome Gwenan to work with our team in Ceredigion where she has seen the range of skills required to manage woodlands.

"Woodlands support the employment of thousands of people in Wales in a broad range of professions and, by providing work placements via Amnawdd, we can highlight the career opportunities in this part of the green economy."

Gwenan is one of five Amnawdd students gaining experience with Forestry Commission Wales. The others are Eurig Davies, who is based in the Policy team, Gwenllian Young who is based in the Woodlands for Learning team, Alaw Thomas, who is based in Llandovery and Rose Jones who is based in Llanwrst.

Picture caption: Gwenan Hughes discussing the Hafod Forest Design Plan with Woodland Manager, Malcolm Isaksson.



The Amnawdd scheme provides sponsorship for students following environmental courses in Welsh universities, and who are studying at least 40 credits through the medium of Welsh over three years.

It is run in partnership between the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and Environment Agency Wales.

Students receive £1000 in sponsorship during the course, as well as carrying out a five week work placement with bursary of £500 to assist with the costs.

Up to 40 students are sponsored each year under the scheme.

Amnawdd aims:

  • to increase the numbers of Welsh-speakersworking in environmental fields
  • to promote and increase Welsh-medium provision in the higher education sector in environmental fields
  • to provide career opportunities for Welsh-speakers in environmental fields by providing suitable and relevant work placements.

Forestry Commission Wales

About 14% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to the private sector and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.

Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Press office contact: Mary Galliers,, 0300 068 0057.