SRUC’s Riverside Students Share Barony Forestry Expertise

Published Wednesday, 31st October 2012 in Barony Campus news

Greskine visit

A group of third year Countryside Management Students from SRUC’s Riverside campus in Ayr visited the Forestry Commission site at Greskine (west of Moffat).

Barony Forestry Training instructors were delivering the third of this year’s successful programme of industry training courses.

Barony Forestry Training delivers a range of commercial short courses on forestry, arboriculture and forest machine operations. On this occasion they were running the third in a series of intensive Forest Machine Operations courses, commissioned by the UK Forest Products Association and funded by the SRDP Skills Development Scheme. There are supported by in-kind contributions of harvesters and forwarders from Commercial Partners John Deere and the Forestry Commission. Instructors include SRUC’s Barony Campus staff and external contractors.

The SRUC student visit came about because one of the industry trainees, David Johnson, had previously completed a Countryside Management Degree at Ayr. The group were led by lecturer Ian Cornforth. Their course is designed to provide employment opportunities for countryside rangers, woodland managers and biodiversity and access officers for SNH, Local Authorities and National Parks.

Following the links with Barony Ian Cornforth said;

“It was a really great visit for all the students who were very impressed with instructor Paul Fotheringham and his wide range of skills. I will definitely be looking to repeat the trip in future years as it really ties together a great many strands of the advanced woodland management module that this particular group of students were taking as part of their Honours year in Countryside Management”.

The Countryside Management course is designed with exit points at HNC, HND, General and Honours degrees. In September 2012 a distance learning Masters option in Countryside Management was launched.

Barony Forest Training has run three eight-week courses in 2012, each providing comprehensive training in harvester and forwarder operations for four candidates. The courses help fill a market-failure skills gap identified by the UKFPA, and have received consistent ministerial support since they first ran in 2007. They enhance and improve the skills of existing forestry workers by providing training and certified assessment experience in mechanised timber harvesting operations. 

Photograph:  Ian Cornforth and the Ayr students don’t let atrocious weather conditions spoil their concentration as Paul Fotheringham explains timber prices and the cut lengths and destinations (some to different sawmills, some to the local Stevens Croft biomass power station) of the harvested timber in the road-end stacks.

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