A Geography student from the University of Swansea has left the lecture theatre behind to take up a five week placement with Forestry Commission Wales thanks to a sponsorship scheme known as Amnawdd.
Eurig Davies from Aberystwyth, Ceredigion has joined the policy team at Forestry Commission Wales at its National Office which is based in the new Welsh Assembly Government office in Aberystwyth.
Working alongside Chris Edwards, Business Sector Policy Advisor, Eurig is finding out how Forestry Commission Wales creates policies to guide its management of the Welsh Assembly Government’s woodlands.
These policies are put into practice in Forestry Commission Wales’s corporate plan which contains a number of principles. Eurig is reviewing these principles and, at the end of his placement, he will recommend to Chris which ones are relevant to all policies and should be highlighted as core principles.
Eurig said, "My work placement at Forestry Commission Wales has given me an excellent overview of the range of organisations involved in land management in Wales.
"I was lucky that my placement coincided with the Royal Welsh Show where I had the opportunity to meet representatives from the Confederation of Forest Industries."
Eurig’s placement 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 Eurig to work with the Policy team at our National Office in Aberystwyth where he 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."
Eurig is one of five Amnawdd students gaining experience with Forestry Commission Wales. The others are Gwenan Hughes, who is based with the Ceredigion Area Manager, 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: Eurig Davies outside the Welsh Assembly Government office in Aberystwyth
NOTES TO EDITORS
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.
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.