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Case Studies > Practical Forestry Apprenticeship

Dalmeny Estate


Case Study Practical Forestry Apprenticeship Dalmeny Estate www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Practical Forestry Apprenticeship The forestry team at Dalmeny has increased in size for the coming year with Cameron Reid joining the staff. Cameron is studying forestry at the Scottish School of Forestry at Inverness College UHI University where he has obtained his Certificate in Forestry and has completed his first year of the HND in Forest Management. He is spending the current year at Dalmeny to put his academic knowledge and practical skills to good use, assisting in the management of the Dalmeny woodlands which extend to 332ha.

The woodlands form a backdrop to Dalmeny House and the popular shore walk that attracts 40,000 visitors annually and is part of the John Muir Way which runs alongside the Firth of Forth. After his year in the woodlands at Dalmeny, Cameron hopes his future studies will lead to a BSc in Sustainable Forest Management.

Cameron joined the Scottish School of Forestry (SSF), Inverness College in September 2014 as a student on the Certificate in forestry course. This is a 36-week practical forestry skills course teaching the students all aspects of forestry from tree identification, history of forestry in Britain and planting operations to tractor driving and all-terrain vehicle driving skills to tree felling with chainsaws and timber extraction using a skyline winch and forwarder.

Cameron proved a very capable and willing student throughout the course and, after successfully completing his certificate year, gained a place on the HND forestry course at the SSF. He successfully completed his 1st year and has embarked on a mid-year placement, an integral part of the HND programme at the SSF, placed at Dalmeny Estate where he is enhancing his educational, personal development and his future employability opportunities with the experience gained. Once Cameron has completed his placement year he will continue with his studies at the SSF where he can continue to the BSc in Sustainable Forest Management (hons) programme.

The mid-year placement has been an important element for the training at the SSF since the OND programme during the 1980s and now the HND programme. It gives the students an opportunity to experience the forest industry first hand and give employers an opportunity to pass on their knowledge to the next generation of foresters and forest workers.

The students can put into practice what they have learned at the supervisory level as well as develop new skills and cope with new experiences, all different depending on the estate or business they have been placed with. Some students can retain employment with their placement provider and continue with their studies either full time, part time or later.

The returning students find that their new skills stand them in good stead for the next academic year as well as preparing them for any future job opportunities that will come their way.

With the coastal beaches in the area, Cameron should also have the opportunity to pursue his interest in power kiting during his year at Dalmeny.
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