Computer expert Gareth set to put byte on illegal fellers

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With a Higher National Certificate in computer forensics, Gareth Herbert is a welcome addition to the Forestry Commission Wales team that investigates illegal felling.

As a new recruit to the Commission’s Grants and Regulations team, Aberystwyth-born Gareth may be one of the first people to be tipped off if someone is suspected of felling a protected tree without a licence.

Gareth, 21, gained his HNC in computer forensics – retrieving electronic information from computers – from Glamorgan University in Pontypridd.

He joined FC Wales a year ago as a switchboard operator in the Commission’s contact centre, fielding hundreds of calls every week from people seeking advice on any manner of forestry issues.

But when a post became vacant in the G&R team, Gareth jumped at the chance to develop his career in the organisation.

Now, in his new role as Regulatory Administrative Officer, he is responsible for processing applications for a felling licence.

Gareth, 21, said, “If you want to fell trees you should always seek advice from FC Wales, to check if you need a licence.”

FC Wales receives some 200 felling licence applications every year and Gareth has three days to acknowledge each application and put the process in motion.

Failure to request a licence can, in certain circumstances, result in a prosecution and a heavy fine.

Gareth added, “Forestry Commission Wales offers a variety of career opportunities across a broad range of professions, and I’m looking forward to broadening my knowledge and experience in forestry.”

For more information on gaining permission to fell trees, go to the Grants and Regulations section of the Forestry Commission Wales website, or phone 0300 068 0300.