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A student prepares for tree felling

Dumfries estate hosts next generation of foresters

Crown Estate Scotland has teamed up with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) to host innovative forestry management and operations courses for students.

The students from SRUC’s Barony campus mainly focus on practical chainsaw and forest machine training and mentoring, allowing them to get hands-on experience of what it is like to work in an forest that is used for different activities day-to-day.

This academic year saw about 40 students from Barony taking part in chainsaw training at a specially chosen site within the estate. In addition, the students are mentored in the use of tractor-based and purpose-built forest machinery. 

Nick Page, Forest Manager for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “It’s really important that we offer training opportunities for the foresters of tomorrow, and the Applegirth Estate provides an excellent location for students to get hands on experience.”

Martyn Davies, from Barony College, said: “Barony campus has used the Applegirth Estate for more than 10 years. The estate is a well-managed multi-purpose forest, with a variety of species and differing ages.

“Our first and second year students practise their tree felling techniques before our second year foresters extract and stack the timber using SRUC’s own purpose-built and tractor-based machines.

“The site is also utilised for tree measuring and planting, as well as providing examples of silvicultural systems. It is a fantastic resource and we are pleased we can continue to work with Crown Estate Scotland.”

Crown Estate Scotland manages 5,000 hectares (around 12,000 acres) of commercial forest. With typical forest tree plantings taking 30 to 80 years to mature, we take a long-term view and work with communities and partners to promote multi-purpose forest management.