Explore: Environment

Forest Craftsperson
Forestry Commission Scotland

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Laura H

00:00:03 My name’s Laura and I work for the Forestry Commission, and I’m a Forest Craftsperson. Basically I do a variety of things from chainsaw felling – felling of trees, to planting, spraying, could be fencing. So quite a variety really. These are two very important bits of equipment for the job that I do. This is my helmet, obviously safety equipment’s a really important part of what I do, and this is just one aspect. I’ve got my boots, safety trousers, as well as gloves and obviously my chainsaw, which is vital in what I do every day.

00:00:49 I knew I wanted to be outdoors, sort of whatever career I chose, but I found it really difficult pin-pointing to something that I’d really enjoy at a young age. To be honest I kind of fell into it. I was looking for some work, I got a job with a tree surgeon, and I started from there really. And really enjoyed it, really enjoyed being outdoors, and then saw an advert for the Forestry Commission, joined them, and I’ve been with them three years now. I was always quite outdoors anyway, I was always on the cross country team and quite active like that. And I was really looking – looking at going into the sports industry, being a fitness instructor and things so –

00:01:37 I wouldn’t say there was a particular person that inspired me, just – just the environment that I work in. The countryside inspires me, which is why I love this job so much, you know, I’m encouraging the countryside and making it a better place. You do catch all the animals. You see a lot of deer. foxes, badgers, so that’s obviously lovely – with it being so quiet during the day, you know, you do see walkers and things, and it’s nice to hear their stories, and how much they appreciate what you do and being in the woodlands.

00:02:13 I think you really grasp, you know, the environment that you’re working in. I do see some fantastic sights, and working through the Forestry Commission, you know, they’ve given me the support to do extra training. The training that I’ve been through has been quite intense, they are dangerous bits of equipment. But it’s been well worth it, and the Forestry Commission itself has supported me through all of my training, as well as I’ve just recently started doing a – basically doing a Forestry degree course, so that I can hopefully progress within this industry.

00:02:51 I see my career progressing – I feel going to University, and doing a course within this industry, is obviously going to help with that. You know, I do want to stay in this industry, and it is where I’m looking to go, but I wouldn’t say that I knew what job I was going to do yet, I think the more experience I get the broader – the broader it will be. I think if you’re looking at what career you want to chose, you have to do something that you enjoy, otherwise you’re not – you’re not going to motivate yourself to do it. Just try and think of something that you enjoy. If you like being outdoors, or whether you prefer to be inside, and sort of start from a starting point like that and build up from there really.

00:03:37 ENDS


Laura H is a Forestry Craftsperson, doing a variety of things from chainsaw felling of trees, to planting, spraying and fencing. “I love working outdoors”. The Forestry Commission have given her a lot of support and training, and now she is on a forestry degree course.

More information about Forestry workers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

100%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Forestry workers perform a variety of tasks related to the planting, cultivation and protection of trees.
There are no minimum academic entry requirements. Training is typically received on-the-job, supplemented by short courses covering specialised skills. NVQs/SVQs in Forestry are available at Levels 1 and 2, together with BTEC diplomas and apprenticeships in some areas.
  • Prepares ground for planting by clearing vegetation and other debris;
  • Drains and ploughs land and erects and maintains fences as necessary;
  • Collects seeds, plants and prunes trees and selects and marks trees for felling;
  • Fells trees using axe or power saw and saws wood into required lengths;
  • Cuts coppice, removes tops of standing trees and lops branches as necessary;
  • Assists in the control of harmful diseases, pests or forms of wildlife;
  • Builds and maintains forest roads;
  • Maintains watch for fires and operates fire fighting equipment.
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