Investing in the foresters of tomorrow - The Heart of England Forest


We are creating and conserving a huge Forest that will be here for generations to come, so investing in the foresters of tomorrow is vital to ensure its future. We are proud to be one of the first organisations in the country to have a new forestry apprentice, and during National Apprenticeship Week 2020 we’re celebrating the opportunities and value that apprenticeships bring.

Encouraging our future foresters

With the number of people seeking a career in forestry in decline, there is a risk of skills shortages in the future if the number of new entrants into the sector does not increase. This poses a real threat to the future of our woodlands, so alongside our successful internship programme we have teamed up with Herefordshire and Ludlow College to offer a two-year forestry apprenticeship.

Phoebe, our first forestry apprentice, joined the team in November. “I’ve always wanted to work outdoors and in a conservation based role” says Phoebe, who saw the apprenticeship advertised on the Countryside Jobs Service website. “I love trees and the sustainability of the work of the charity really appealed to me.”

“I’ve done a lot of voluntary work in the past but being paid whilst I train means that I can really progress my career now. I am looking forward to building on my skills over the next two years and am excited about the variety of tasks I’ll be undertaking during my time here.”

Learning on the job

Forestry manager Will says: “Phoebe will receive constant support and be provided with a wide range of learning opportunities. These include theoretical training on subjects like tree planting, woodland creation, wildlife surveying, tree biology and pests and diseases, and practical qualifications such as tractor driving. In addition, Phoebe will get hands on experience in all aspects of social forestry.”

Despite only starting her apprenticeship a couple of months ago, Phoebe is already a valued member of the team and is making a real difference: “As I joined the team at the start of tree planting season, then planting a brand new area of the Forest has been the focus so far. By the end of March I will have helped to plant 60,000 beautiful broadleaf trees, which is an achievement I will be immensely proud of.”

Explore apprenticeships

As you train to be fully skilled in your chosen occupation and earn a salary at the same time, an apprenticeship could be a great option for getting on the job ladder or for a change in career. Find out more about becoming an apprentice.

The Heart of England Forest