How do you encourage young people to pursue a career in sustainable forestry? Run in partnership with The Duchy of Cornwall, Herefordshire College of Technology and the Forestry Commission, with sponsorship from MVision, The Prince's Trust 'Get Into Woodlands' programme aims to achieve just that.
'Get into Woodlands' gives Prince's Trust young people important qualifications whilst developing their confidence, motivation and skills in forestry. Led by the Duchy's Head Forester, Geraint Richards, at Aconbury Woods in Hereford, the three-week course includes practical skills, such as hazel coppicing, horse logging, tree planting and harvesting. They also undertake key formal training as well as enjoying site visits to tree nurseries, timber-harvesting sites and sawmills.
The idea for the course came from The Prince of Wales in a bid to combat local skills shortages and rising levels of youth unemployment and started in 2012. The ‘Get into Woodlands’ programme continues to encourage young people to embark on fulfilling careers in the forestry sector with a number of previous participants now actively involved in the locality.
The Duchy of Cornwall woodland estate covers approximately 6,000 acres, scattered across the whole of the Duchy land holding. It includes shelterbelts on the Isles of Scilly, many small farm woodlands and more substantial woods, both broadleaf and coniferous. The woodlands grow high quality timber but also deliver many environmental benefits, harbouring several rare and important species. The woodlands are also used for a wide variety of education and recreational purposes including walking, horse riding, country sports, conservation monitoring, forest schools, scout groups and military training.
As the effect of climate change become more apparent, with its associated rapid increase in pests and diseases that affect our trees, the Duchy is endeavouring to create greater diversity within its woodlands to increase their resilience. Wherever possible the Duchy supports local industry, using local contractors and suppliers wherever possible. We also have our own team of woodsmen using Duchy timber on the estate wherever possible.
For over 20 years, the Duchy of Cornwall woodlands have been FSC certified.