I am a part-time lecturer in forestry at the Scottish School of Forestry and Executive Director of the Scottish Forestry Trust, a charitable organisation that supports research, education and training in the forestry sector across the UK.
My Fellowship aims to address the current shortfall in the forestry workforce in the UK which poses a risk to forestry and woodland contributing effectively to climate change mitigation and resilience. We are currently failing to meet our woodland creation targets and at the same time we continue to import 80% of our timber requirements Ð this is not a sustainable picture. In short we need to attract more young people into the forestry sector at a time when we see the number of new entrants falling.
My Fellowship aims to understand how initiatives in the USA, specifically in Michigan and Wisconsin, have helped to embed forestry education across the school curriculum and to pilot lessons learned back in Scotland in the first instance. The intention is to ensure that all young people understand the benefits of forestry and the range of career opportunities that exist in the sector.