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NEWS RELEASE No: 1449622 MARCH 2011

Students learning important wildlife and woodland skills with the Forestry Commission

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Students learning important wildlife and woodland skills with the Forestry Commission

Two students have been learning essential environmental skills while on placement with the Forestry Commission in the West Midlands.

Jim Green, 20, and Phil Smith, 21, are currently on one-year placements with the Forestry Commission in order to gain valuable experience that will help them towards gaining careers in the forestry and wildlife-related industries.

They have been learning skills such as deer management, tree tariffing (measuring trees for timber volume), chainsaw qualifications, as well as wildlife surveying.

Mr Green, a Game and Wildlife Management graduate from Suffolk who has been working with the Forestry Commission’s wildlife team, said:

“This time of the year most of my time spent with the wildlife team has been centred on deer management but soon I will also get involved in ringing night-jars at Cannock Chase and also a dormouse project at Wyre Forest.

“I have also conducted rabbit-damage surveys and, as a result of this, areas of plantation have been restocked, which was satisfying.

“The placement has been excellent, one of the best opportunities that I have ever had,” he said.

Mr Smith, who is on placement with the Forestry Commission as part of a sandwich degree in lowland woodland management, has been able to learn practical skills related to looking after trees and timber production.

He said:

“I have been able to get involved in the hands-on work, such as measuring trees to see how much timber they contain. I have also been able to do chainsaw tickets and a small trees course.

“Also I have been involved in cutting up trees that have blocked paths after falling in the strong winds. I have been enjoying the course, getting on a placement with the Forestry Commission was a big thing for me.”

The students will remain with the Forestry Commission until the end of summer.

Dennis Moir, Forestry Commission area forester for the Marches, said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer students the opportunity of working with the Forestry Commission. The skills they learn with us complement their academic studies as they learn to apply them in a practical setting.”

For more information on the work of the Forestry Commission in the Marches area visit

Notes to Editors

The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain with responsibility for over one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside.  The West Midlands region covers the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, the West Midlands and parts of Derbyshire and Leicestershire.   To find out more about Forestry Commission England visit

Media contact:
Georgina Sharp (Recreation Ranger) at the Forestry Commission’s Mortimer Forest Office on 01584 813826 or 07795 052426 or email